Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Eco House: A Sustainable Living Dollhouse
Eco House by Wonderworld Toys is a dollhouse of the future. Or maybe present day? It’s an ideal home anyway, one moving us closer to sustainable living.
The house comes equipped with solar roof panels, a wind turbine, recycling bins, a bicycle (there is no car), a rain barrel (aka rainwater tank or water butt) and garden greenery.
Warning: If you live in Colorado, be advised that rain barrels are illegal because the government owns all water that falls from the sky within its borders. Only let your most trusted confidants see this dollhouse, lest your child get charged with sedition.
Unlike many barren dollhouses, this one comes fully accessorized with a shower, vanity, waste basket, small and large beds, oven, table, three chairs, two parents and a child, a recycle bin, a waste bin and two planters.
It seems the company only sells white dolls, but for some reality play, any other-brand wood dolls found at most toy stores should work.
The dollhouse components are painted with water-based paint and cut from the ever popular Thailand rubber tree. That’s the one that is tapped for liquid latex for about 25 years and then gets cut down and the land replanted. Otherwise unwanted trees are made into furniture and toys.
In addition, Wonderworld has a program called Tree Plus where 1 = 1 + 1. For each tree it uses to produce its toys, it has pledged to plant a tree, in addition to the replacement tree the farmer is already planning to plant.
Alrighty, so everything is neatly eco-groovy. I’m more interested in whether this is the right approach to teaching sustainable living.
For example, what message does it send if you explain to your toddler about solar and wind power, but don’t actually use those technologies on your own home? Is it innocuous like having a farm play set even though you don’t live on a farm?
On a basic level, I suppose it’s good just for these components to be built into the dollhouse either way. It’d be nice for kids to grow up viewing solar and wind power and other ecological features as normal everyday things rather than being detached from them like an urban child who plays with toy cows, chickens and pigs without having seen them in person.