I founded Tiny Earth Toys a little over 3 years ago to solve one problem. I wanted to help fight climate change by helping families reduce overconsumption and plastic toy waste.
The stats are startling, 90% of children’s toys are made of plastic, they are used on average for less than 6 months before 80% end up in landfills, incinerators or the ocean.
And even more alarming, is the habits we are teaching our children about consumption. By 14 months they are mimicking and imitating our actions. What else should we expect but a generation of unsatisfied, overconsumers?
Over this 3+ year journey building Tiny Earth, I have learned so much about circularity and our environmental impact.
A few big lessons stand out:
- Parents want circular solutions: Over 7,000 families have rented their toys with Tiny Earth and we have built a community of another 70,000+ who are interested in circular solutions and following our journey. The need is SO REAL!
- National rental programs present climate challenges: the return logistics of our business emitted 11.1 tons of carbon dioxide in 2023, and while we offset more than we emit, it is a problematic cycle that consumes resources and emits carbon.
- Reverse logistics is incredibly expensive: And we need our solutions to be more accessible to all families and sustainable for our business operations.
With these learnings in place, I have more conviction than ever that we can adapt our business to better solve the original problem of plastic toy waste.
We believe now more than ever that the key to combating climate change in our households is to:
- Buy less
- Buy higher quality
- Keep those items in use as long as possible
And we believe we can facilitate these three critical principles through a reimagined Tiny Earth Toys that creates local circularity initiatives to create full lifecycle utilization of children’s products without the emissions impacts of return shipping.
Starting today, we will no longer rent toys that require shipping back and forth to our facility in Durham, NC. While we are disappointed that rentals, in their current configuration, isn’t the solution we’d hoped for, we are extremely energized and confident by what we’ve learned and what comes next.
Moving forward we are committed to helping families buy less, higher quality and keep it in use as long as possible by doing the following,
- Source and sell plastic-free, wooden, educational toys from the most sustainable brands in the world
- Customized recommendations of toys based on your child’s motor skills, age and interests of interest-based toys. You can buy bundled or individual toys without the need to subscribe. A note on this, contrary to what our major competitors think, we do NOT believe that age-based subscription play kits serve all children. We think they create added waste, confusion for parents and milestone-anxiety. We’ve curated the best, most sustainable wooden toys for children 0 - 6 years old. No forced or hidden subscriptions.
- Launch the nation’s largest local circularity initiatives. We seek to keep toys in use in their local community with neighbors, soon-to-be friends and under-resourced childcare facilities. Learn more about how we will do this on our circularity page.
I could not be prouder of what we have accomplished and the thousands of families, employees, investors, stakeholders and community members who have supported this journey. Now, more than ever, I am ready to progress the circular economy and help families consume less. I hope you will join us.
Please send thoughts, comments and questions directly to us at email@example.com.
Founder & CEO
Tiny Earth Toys
- If you live in a major metropolitan area and want to become a Community Manager for our 2024 Tiny Earth Toy Swap, please submit an application here. If you want more information on the Tiny Earth Toys Swap, RSVP here.
- If you are a childcare center, school or homeschooling parent and need quality materials, please complete this wishlist form and we will work to match you with families ready to donate excellent condition products.
- If you have toys you are interested in donating toys to a childcare center in need, please complete this survey.