Picky moms everywhere know better than anyone, it is HARD coming up with toys and gear that meet our criteria for passable. Me? I don’t do light up and noisy, no way, but more than anything, I look for toys and feeding gear that are made from sustainable and non-toxic materials.
When I first discovered natural rubber, I was totally intrigued. Soon after, I fell in love with Hevea Planet, a baby company who was changing the face of pacifiers and rubber duckies, and providing eco options that were baby-safe and picky-mom approved.
Over the years as a perpetually researching mom, I’ve come to outlaw a few things in this house: artificial dyes, too many YouTube channels to count, and plastic.
The Downfalls of Plastic
Plastic is the bane of my existence for a lot of reasons:
- It’s a 100% petroleum-based product and contributes significantly to pollution and oil consumption
- Even BPA-free plastics have been shown to mimic estrogen, interfering with hormone production in adults and children
- It never biodegrades
- It ALWAYS breaks
I. Hate. Plastic. We’ve made compromises as we coast into toddler-hood (they don’t make wooden Rescue Bots — I checked), but for the most part, especially when it comes to things my kids handle regularly, we make plastic our absolute last-ditch resort.
Why I Love Rubber
I’ve long been fascinated by natural rubber pacifiers, so as I started shopping around for this next baby, I started doing a bit of research.
As it turns out, rubber is one of the most sustainable baby-friendly materials out there. It’s easy to clean, and rubber trees can repeatedly be tapped for up to 35 years — no need to constantly deplete the soil with fresh plantings.
What’s more, natural rubber is 100% biodegradable, so I feel AWESOME about buying rubber products for my kids. When my toddler inevitably bites a hole in the baby’s binky, or the rubber ducky meets his demise, I can feel good about throwing these things away, because they WILL break down on their own.
Hevea Planet Natural Rubber Baby Products
Hevea Planet is the combination of a mom’s desire to create non-toxic and safer baby products for her own family and all of ours, and the ambition of a business entrepreneur to create a company who would contribute to lessen the carbon footprint they leave behind while educating parents all over the world on ways to take better care of our environment.
Since 2009 Hevea Planet has grown to include not just baby items but home and pet items as well, and it is currently distributed in over 50 countries, but still remains true to the same values and passion that have fueled its beginning.
Hevea’s Upcycling Policy
So sure, you can totally throw away those old rubber pacifiers when they get worn out. Most pediatricians recommend replacing them every eight weeks for safety reasons, so you’re going to go through a few of them.
That being said, it’s not just about what breaks down when we’re talking about sustainability — it’s about producing less to begin with. That’s why Hevea Planet has an AWESOME upcycling program designed to repurpose their rubber binkies.
This company has developed a sterile way to reuse the rubber from their pacifiers to create new ones, and offers customers who send them in a 1% discount on products in their online store!
The nice folks over at Hevea were sweet enough to send my toddler and me some products to test out for ourselves, along with a couple of things for the soon-to-be baby I’m currently gestating (thanks, guys!).
With an assortment of goodies and the very pickiest of picky mom brains to look over them, I put them to the test.
The Rubber Ducky
First up, my son was WAY too excited about this great big rubber ducky. Seriously, this isn’t your average little yellow ducky. This bad boy sits at about the size of a can of pop and is hand-painted with natural plant pigments, so it’s perfectly safe to chew on.
What I love most about this though is that there’s no hole on the bottom, so there’s absolutely zero chance of a terrifying mystery mold buildup. It floats perfectly in a bath, and even with the pigments being plant-based, they never wore off.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know Hevea made their own placement until this one showed up at my door, and I’m in LOVE. The silicone placemats I’ve seen in the baby stores are cute and everything, but I was never really crazy about the plate/mat combinations.
This one keeps it simple and keeps my table clean at mealtimes. I don’t really sweat it when my kid drops a chicken nugget on it and licks the ketchup off it because I know it’s just 100% natural rubber.
The best part about this thing though is that there’s just the tiniest lip around the edge to catch liquids before they run everywhere.
It seems like a simple toy, but I had a plastic version of this ball before I was “woke,” and babies practicing those grasping skills absolutely LOVE them. The coolest thing though? Apparently this ball doubles as a protector for Hevea’s glass bottles!
My firstborn never took to pacifiers, but this mama has high hopes for baby #2, so I’m excited about trying this binky out on the next baby. What I’m really loving about the design of this one is that it’s all one piece — super easy to clean, and no nooks for gunk and germs to hide.
Even cooler though is that it’s 100% plastic-free, just natural rubber, so I don’t have to worry about something that could affect my baby’s hormones going right into his/her mouth 15 times a day.
This is the first time I’ve had any hands-on experience with natural rubber, but consider me sold. Environmental benefits aside even, these products are so much more pure than anything else out there, and I feel 1,000x better about being on the warpath about pacifiers knowing these are made with such great ingredients.
Have you ever tried a natural rubber baby product? What did you think? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram! @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine
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