Imagine a community collection of toys, well cared for and shared among hundreds of families!  This is a toy library!

Families have a myriad of choices and often feel overwhelmed with toy clutter at home. By choosing to use a toy library, you will:

  • Reduce overall consumption of toys around Aotearoa.
  • Expose your child to a sharing economy, by promoting a REUSE culture at a young age. They grow up learning that you can have fun with things even if they don’t belong to you.
  • Save toys from landfill. Most of the time, we are accepting donations and give them a new life. We also buy toys second hand and are keeping small toys and their parts as future replacements.
  • Help your toy library to invest in quality, well-made toys with excellent play value to ensure the resources in their loan collection are long lasting and sustainable. When we buy new toys, we really research what we need and how it is made / packaged etc.
  • Help our community to thrive: we are using volunteers, often the elderly, to help us fix toys otherwise thrown away. We are also supporting lots of Taranaki Schools, special play groups and other community groups.
  • Feel less pressured to buy new toys for entertainment and learning.
  • Reduce the packaging of toys you are using.
  • Be able to live more minimalist and have a smaller home, saving you lots more in the long run!

And of course we recycle everything we can! Including your old batteries by giving them a few more lives before disposing of them correctly!

Be sustainable. Borrow toys!

See below a blog post by a toy library member that is writing about their quest to live more sustainably:

“Impact: Significant reduction in the amount of resources consumed in our entertainment, especially plastic, the petrochemical-sourced primary material of so many children’s toys. Not to mention the inordinate amount of waste material generated by toys’ packaging. And, as kids grow out of so many toys in a short amount of time, especially the big plastic ones, toys purchased today are generally landfill tomorrow, so library use reduces landfill also.

Given the (in)frequency we need to be rostered, I estimate there are about 60-70 families using our toy library. If each of those families buys ten less toys per year as a result of using the toy library, that is 600-700 less toys being produced, packaged and disposed of in our neighbourhood alone. Let’s say half of those were strong plastic toys of a moderate size (to give an idea, the ride-on fire engine in the photo above weighs about 7kg and the Noah’s Ark set about 2kg). We could be looking at a reduction of 1-2 tonnes of plastic each year from the presence of just one toy library.”