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3 Tips to Gift Sustainably this World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day

As a working mum of two boys, I had an inkling about the waste we generate. However, it wasn’t until I filled our own wheelie bin to the brim with worn or broken plastic toys and really started to investigate the facts on toy waste that I realised the extent of the problem for our environment.

This is the reason why every day at SPARK POP we are working to create a platform that makes it super easy and FUN to choose sustainable ways for children to play, be inspired and have colourful memories not only for their individual benefit but for their future planet.

Today is World Oceans Day, a day to highlight the impact of human actions on our life source! Currently, 11 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean annually (UNEP, 2023) affecting marine and coastal wildlife. Approximately 3% of waste ends up in oceans, often escaping in transit to landfill, from the waste sites, or floating down drains.

With one kilogram of plastic produced for every $25 in toy revenues, it’s easy to see why toys are the most plastic-intensive in the world and why it’s vital to reduce the amount of plastic packaging, and plastic toys being consumed.

What can we do? Well for most families it’s birthdays and Christmas time that we see the greatest influx of playthings into the household as gifts from family and friends. So one small change we can make is in gifting for children.

So, on that note, here are our top 3 tips to gift for children sustainably this World Oceans Day.


1. TRY THOUGHTFUL GIFTING

An experience gift is thoughtful and memorable, some options include:

  • Gift Experiences everlasting memories, new interests, connections plus not to mention new or unique experiences activate the neuroplasticity of the brain, making us smarter, brighter and more motivated!
  • Gift Cards children love to shop! This is an ideal opportunity for some consumer independence. It may be an EFTPOS, Movie, or SPARK POP Gift Card so they can choose their own experience (attraction, wildlife encounter, outdoor adventure, indoor-play, live show/game tickets) when and where they like!
  • Go Green give something that engages them in the garden which could be seeds, a bee hotel, or a flower press.
  • Adopt an Animal for animal lovers and children who care about the conservation of Australian habitat there are several programs that offer adoption or sponsorship programs. You can adopt a bilby, echidna or koala with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which comes with an adoption gift pack and regular updates about the chosen animal.

We constantly hear from our customers (parents) that their children are overwhelmed with toys and games, and that they would love to see their children receive an experience gift. Just the other day the first thing a mum said about the SPARK POP gift card her child had just received ‘Yes, an activity rather than another toy to add to the toy room, thank you!’

Gift Card 2023

Gift Card 2023

2. CONSIDER REBALANCING QUALITY + QUANTITY FOR OUR CHILDREN

More children now spend the majority of their time at daycare, school or after-school activities and sport where they have access to the latest resources. So, re-considering the QUANTITY of new toys and games we buy or others buy for our children, and rather shift our focus to QUALITY when it comes to gifting toys and games fit for entertainment and educational purposes.

Quality is not only about the materials it’s made with, but the suitability for satisfying needs and purpose. How functional is it? What features are there? Will this sustain over stages of learning and development with the child?

Consider where we can source these quality products from. Are they made locally? Are they available through pre-loved marketplaces where you’ll often find near-new? The sharing economies are gaining momentum globally and we’re now seeing the rise of Toy Libraries, Toy Rentals Toy Swaps and online Toy Sharing Platforms. Have you ever considered gifting a Toy Library Membership?

3. AVOID WASTE

This doesn’t cost a cent! Simply reduce the number of materials you put in the waste bin post gifting season. Consider planning a clean out in the lead up to any special milestone celebrations to avoid the overwhelm and temptation to add to waste in haste!

  1. Find a ZERO WASTE TOY RECYCLING solution like SPARK POP and TerraCycle’s for your unwanted and degraded toys.
  2. Pass on your best toys to friends, family, daycare or charity store.
  3. Sell your best toys on the marketplace
  4. Trade, sell or donate your toys at our upcoming Re-Play Toy Trade

Together, let’s tread lightly on our planet for our children and their future planet.  #beatstuffocation #colouringmemories

Re-Play Toy Trade Event

Re-Play Toy Trade Event Sunday 16 July

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