05/28/2012 01:33 pm ET

Green Toys For Toddlers: Eco-Friendly Play Things That Won't Hurt The Environment

From Networx's Sayward Rebhal:

One of the greatest side effects of becoming a parent is the hope that it instills – the way that you can see the future stretching out in front of you, and how suddenly that future seems really, really important. Maybe that’s why moms and dads are some of the most passionate environmental activists. They have a greater stake in the game.

The good news is that nowadays, it’s easier than ever to make sure your purchase packs an activist punch. You can use your dollar for good, by choosing companies who make it their mission to preserve the planet. The ones below are just a few of my favorite larger operations, which are accessible to a wider audience. But remember, the “greenest” choice is something made locally, something handmade by an artist, or something secondhand. If you’re interested in going that route, check out Etsy, check out your city’s craft scene, and have fun poking around at thrift stores and garage sales. Otherwise, use this list as your little green short cut:

List and captions courtesy of Networx

Eco-Friendly Toys For Toddlers