Eco House: A Sustainable Living Dollhouse

Photo of the Eco House 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.

Photo of a wooden doll using a recycling bin and a photo of two dolls on a bicycle built for one.

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?

A photo of two wooden dolls bent down near a planter filled with greenery and a photo of a doll riding a bicycle next to a doll standing next to a rain barrel.

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.

Sold at: My Child Playhouses ($147) or Amazon UK (£96) — Yeah, pricey, but it comes furnished and is in a class by itself, for the moment.


4 Responses to “Eco House: A Sustainable Living Dollhouse”

  1. Mary says:

    I can’t use rain barrels (I live in Colorado)? Didn’t know that one, although, I’ve never had a need for a rain barrel (we live in an apartment, no garden or anything).

    The dollhouse set might be one for us to think about. I believe that having real-life everyday examples of sustainable living is better than just having pictures and toys, but sometimes that isn’t quite possible. Again, we live in an apartment, where we don’t get our power from the wind or the sun. Sometimes, books, toys, and pictures are all we have to expose our children to other ways of living, thinking, and ideas. People didn’t grow up to be astronauts living like one as a child. They imagined through books, toys, and their own thoughts. However, when it does become a possibility and reality, our children can gain much more from the experience.

    Thanks for the review.

    January 8th, 2009 at 6:49 am

  2. Lara says:

    This discussion came at the right time for us as we had just been looking at the house as it was in mailorderexpress’s clearance. I feel the houseis a good idea but would have liked to see a bike for the whole family to ride. Right now I don’t think we will get the house due to the storrage of a large item.

    January 8th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

  3. Dave Gardner aka EditorDave says:

    What a cool post! My kids are now grown up and out of the house (but I have a 3-year-old granddaughter that I think I now have an idea for a Birthday gift!).

    Yeah, the house might not create raving environmentalists from young children (any more than playing spacecraft with cardboard boxes or model rockets will make someone an astronaut), but at least the playhouse will create a “comfort level” and awareness of the possibilities such that when the kids become adults and are out looking for their own homes, the “alternate energy”/”sustainable living” option won’t be so strange for them.

    I’m a former science teacher–and trying to provide useful “illustrations” to get the kids interested in things like this is tough. (If I were still in a classroom, I might consider buying the thing for the classroom for “science demonstrations”!)

    Thanks for finding this and showing this to us.

    January 9th, 2009 at 10:06 am

  4. Wendy says:

    I was drooling over this house before Christmas and wishing my 3 yr old son wanted to play with dolls(yes me and the hubby would buy a doll house for our boy). After looking at the comparable Plan Toys doll house sets it looks like this is actually a better deal.

    January 10th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

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