We buy things for our children out of love and care, often disregarding the impact those things have on the environment. But as we protect our children with the best products we can afford, can we afford to ignore the worsening environment, often caused by these very products that we buy for our children’s wellbeing?
Afterall, are we also not responsible for leaving behind a safer, cleaner environment for our children, aren’t we?
As goes a popular native American proverb, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors—we borrow it from our children.”
While most other industries seem to be transitioning to better material choices, services and systems, not much is heard from the childcare industry. For example, disposable diapers are a big source of environmental waste. Chemical content and disposability of plastic toys, chemicals and dyes in clothing and skincare items, and a range of other products may be harmful to the health, yet little attention is given to this area. Even education, that should ideally empower children for a life of health and happiness often falls short of meaningful learning content and methodology.
Following Green Initiatives’ July film screening, POPULATION BOOM, our 123rd Monthly Green Drinks forum aims to discuss relevant issues in the childcare products and service sector, including:
- What are the largest environmental and health impacts of conventional childcare products?
- What are the eco-friendly products available in the market today?
- What limits a wider product offering for eco-friendly products in childcare?
- What is missing in our conventional schooling system that hinders our kids’ empathy towards social and environmental causes?
- What are some progressive new models of learning?
- How can environmental education start at home? How can parents make a difference?
Subject: Chandler will talk on education, focusing on how we can adapt our teaching methods to best accommodate how children really learn, how to prevent ourselves from underestimating their abilities while playing at their strengths, strategies to engage them in a dynamic fashion, as well as guide them to become productive, socially and environmentally aware citizens.
Background: Chandler has been based in Shanghai for 9 years and has been an early years educator for 12 years, during which he specialized in kindergarten and primary school education in both international and blingual schools. His passions and education range from studying biology in university to becoming a dentist, being a tantra practitioner, certified yoga teacher, reiki master, thai massage therapist, to starting a honey business to share local and healthy products with his community.
Patrick CAI, Global Marketing Manager at Hape
Subject: Synergy between innovative toys and environmental protection
Background: Patrick has been working at Hape as Global Marketing Manager for over 3 years. He finds his passion in being a marketing professional who focuses on marketing, research, and strategic analysis. Patrick has extensive multi-cultural experience and has been enjoying studying and working in international settings. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in the State University of New York in 2012, and later on graduated with a Master's Degree focused on Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management from The University of Nottingham in 2014.
Hape is one of the most popular toy brands in the world. Following its unique philosophies, Hape endeavours to make toys with sustainable materials and puts concept into practice by offering innovative and environmental friendly products, aiming at leaving a better world to the next generation.
Alina Kozyreva, Area Manager Russia for IKKI
Subject: Buy Less but Buy Better: We believe the world is one supply chain and the status quo improves with brands pushing it to be better. We want to educate our consumers to ask the right questions and put pressure on brands to be accountable for what they put onto the market. Of course there is always room for improvement but it is our aim to help consumers make better choices by being informed.
Background: Alina is marketing and advertising major from Barnaul, Russia. In 2009 she decided to come to China, Xiamen to study Chinese. In 2011 she moved to Shanghai and started working for her family’s construction machinery company. She started taking over the buying of spare parts for the company in China visiting factories and selecting partners. During her eight years of working for the company and visiting factories she noticed a change in the supply chain and a new focus for some protecting the environment and providing better working conditions for workers. With this came a willingness from clients to pay more for products now reaching higher quality standards. During her time in Shanghai, she met Rikki Beier, the owner and founder of IKKI. After purchasing numerous products from the brand for her nephews, she became an IKKI fan and loved and supported the notion of building an ethical brand in China with a transparent supply chain. With a passion of her own for the environment she instigated various initiatives in her hometown involving recycling. Noticing an interest and a support for such initiatives, she believed there was a market for high-end ethical brands in Russia and started to represent IKKI there. She now, together with two others in educating on the brand, what it stands for and the notion that is buying less but buying better.