Posted in Uncategorized

Vatavaran – A Rhizome

Vatavaran has been a well-established Non Government , Non Profit Organization  for 25 years. 5 firsts of Vatavaran are :

Organization by the volunteers-

Vatavaran’s  volunteers have worked for our environment  earnestly & passionately . Volunteers have been are like a stream, never permanent but have kept coming for all these years.

Vatavaran Primate Procession –

A path we followed by means of a series of cross media interventions and events and   designed  a monkey sanctuary.

Canine companions-

Innovated stray dog management system which is replicable , practical , low cost and involves community.

Zero Garbage zones-

Created  decentralized  municipal solid waste management  model for urban residential colonies of various economic starta , educational institutes , rural and urban villages .

Source Treatment System-

Innovated  hospital waste management  system in which any chance of pilfiring hospital waste – the biggest problem gets eliminated . Its also economical and more environmentally friendly than any other system.

Our campaigns led to  DelhiRidge –its only natural forest declared a reserve forest, use of plastic carry  bags banned,   blood banks upgraded, slaughter house shifted out,  greening of non-green golf courses, zoos improved,  ‘in vitro’experiments replaced ‘in vivo’ ,  popularized hand-made recycled paper and its products and through our barter system exchanged  non-compostable waste  for saplings of indigenous trees thus encouraging greening and starting colony forests.

We have now decided to expand the influence through forming links with other organisations.  Together we are now a rhizome growing horizontally with lateral shoots . They are our shoots and we theirs. We understand each other’s  vision and mission and agree to it . We are reaching out to the sections of society which we could not with so much efficiency earlier.

The five organizations (representing the five elements  of nature – Earth , Water , Air , Sun, Space )have been selected after a year of  intense mental and physical activity .  With all five Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed . The certificates given to the participants of the institutions  for their  respective programs will have Vatavaran and that organization’s name and logo.


Known for its work with multiple handicapped individuals ( /) is based in Vadodara. Its vision is to have a world free of Child Sexual Abuse and its mission is to empower individuals, families, communities and society with prevention and intervention skills to reduce the occurrence of child sexual abuse and heal its psychological, social, sexual and physical consequences. Joint program is to create awareness on clean and green environment through their programs making a wider and deeper impact on society.


Association for Social Health in India ( is known for its work on social issues. The joint program is to convert one of their bases Anna Nagar, a J.J. Colony in the capital to a clean and green settlement. All construction and other waste will be cleared and every bit of wasteland will be greened by indigenous trees. Additional benefit would be a replicable model for converting public squalors to clean green settlements.


Blue Bells International

A school in the capital ( whose outlook epitomizes Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of humanity as one family and its philosophy is ‘One Planet the Earth, One family Mankind’. Its endeavor is to groom children to be true catalyst of sustainable change.  The link is to popularize the use of handmade recycled paper along with making students entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The school has a handmade paper recycling unit but Vatavaran would help in upgrading it, capacity building and greater involvement of the students, allowing them to innovate both at the paper making and product making level thus boosting their creativity.

People’s Theatre Group     

Promotes performing arts and education through art ( beyond man-made boundaries with songs, stories and plays for social causes.  The program carved out for this link is to make Durga Puja (the most celebrated yet polluting festival) a green one across the globe and also incorporate environs awareness through the art and various digital media platforms.


Kailash Foundation

Working on education ( will be responsible with the aegis of Vatavaran, to give fellowships for vocational education to the children of waste collectors. Along with this, they have also vowed to provide these children with placements with employers who agree to pay salaries in compliance with State regulations.



Being a rhizome, the links are forever.

May this goodwill spread beyond formal organisations into individual endeavours.

The accountability of these organisations lays in the fact that they too occupy a space in the environment and its resources and express responsibility towards it, so in their recognition of these responsibilities they also accept self-accountability.

Posted in Uncategorized

Earth Day

25th March is Earth Hour, between 8.30Pm to 9.30 pm. We all must switch off the lights and please inform others also. Save energy and our environment.

IMG-20170324-WA0004Let’s all be Buddies to our Earth!

Posted in Uncategorized

Take ye Heed

🔴Very important message🔴

Please read this and take note. Let this not happen to you.. This could be a common mistake in any household.

This shocking accident
happend. A housewife died due to burns sustained in the kitchen. Her husband too was hospitalized for injuries due to burns while trying to rescue his wife.

How it happened:

The gas was on and cooking in progress.
The lady observed one cockroach near the sink and grabbed Spray bottle of insect killer and sprayed it near the gas, which was on.
There was an explosion and in no time the poor woman was covered in flames, sustaining 65% burns.
Her husband rushed in, tried to put out the flames and his clothes too caught fire.
The husband is still in hospital, in the burns ward,
still unaware that his wife was declared dead on arrival.

Let us understand: – All insect killer sprays such as “Hit”, “Mortein” etc. have highly volatile and inflammable solvents.
The atomized nano spray particles spread very rapidly and one spark is enough to ignite this explosive mixture with oxygen present in air.

Please educate your family & Friends about this and spread the word around….


Posted in december 2016, Uncategorized


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Vatavaran’s most recent campaign is the ‘Jio Aur Jine Do’ campaign, which envisions a society of peace and compassion towards all of nature. We attempted to ingrain this concept into people through the visual media- ‘nukkad natak’. Street plays are probably the most powerfully effective way to connect to the people at a grassroots level in a de-centralised manner.

Connaught Place witnessed the first series of Jio Aur Jine Do. Treading through the blocks of CP, the acting group presented in every nukkad an ideal symbiotic relationship between man and nature. The actors became cows, dogs, parrots and donkeys, the general nature that dwellers of a metropolitan city encounter. We have caged parrots and parakeets (‘mitthu beta’) in our homes, holy cows and not-so-holy dogs on the streets . Though we encounter all these kinds of fauna on an almost daily basis, are we enlightened with their situations? It is for these reasons that Director Niloy Roy attempted to bring mankind a step closer to our earthly companions. They have an equal right and access to all the resources that the earth has, which they need. It has been man’s innate desire to conquer and consolidate every resource under his authority. The population has grown to such an extent where it is difficult to calculate the accurate number of people hogging over resources. We buy and discard, eat and discard, creating waste till it becomes impossible to manage it and we have to outsource our garbage into outer space. There are many such issues which this 20-minute play brings to our consciousness.

We at Vatavaran thank the People’s Theater Group for collaborating with us in bringing awareness to the people. At the end of the natak many people approached us with varying queries and provided their details offering to help in our campaigns. Many joined us as volunteers. We would like to thank these people who came forward, joined our family and converted the impact into an action. This play will be presented in different locations and institutions around Delhi- NCR. So, if you wish to join us in this campaign or witness any of these plays, please contact director Niloy Roy (9873878238) for further details.

Posted in Uncategorized

Jio Aur Jine Do

Vatavaran is organising a street play series- ‘Jio aur Jine Do’ (Live and Let Live). It brings to light the importance of co-existence. Through this event, Director and playwright Niloy Roy aspires to bring man closer to the feelings of nature and the problems that flora and fauna grapple with. It is necessary that we transcend from ‘man versus nature’ to ‘man versus his overbearing desire to conquer and rule’. The team of 12 actors don the cloak of animals and present for us a rendezvous with nature.
We hope to see you on 26th December, at 11:30 a.m., in Central Park, Connaught Place.

Posted in december 2016, Uncategorized

Jio Aur Jine Do

Vatavaran is organising a street play series- ‘Jio air Jine Do’ (Live and Let Live). It brings to light the importance of co-existence. Through this event, Director and playwright Niloy Roy aspires to bring man closer to the feelings of nature and the problems that flora and fauna grapple with. It is necessary that we transcend from ‘man versus nature’ to ‘man versus his overbearing desire to conquer and rule’. The team of 12 actors don the cloak of animals and present for us a rendezvous with nature.
We hope to see you on 23rd December, at 11:30 a.m., in Central Park, Connaught Place.

Vatavaran logo

Posted in december 2016, Uncategorized

plasticoceanA Plastic Ocean

Plastic Pollution Coalition is excited to be working on the worldwide release of A Plastic Ocean, an award-winning documentary film, which brings to light the consequences of our disposable lifestyle. Following an international team of adventurers, researchers, and ocean ambassadors across the globe, the film uncovers the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine oceans.

Watch The Film Trailer:


How to Host A Screening

On January 19, 2017, movie theaters and non-theatrical venues will be showing the film as part of A Plastic Ocean Day, creating worldwide momentum to coincide with the film’s publicity and online release.

PPC members can plan a local screening of A Plastic Ocean to raise support and gain awareness for our collective missions in their communities. We recommend that local screenings of this acclaimed documentary use it as a tool to make an impact for your organization and start a local conversation about waste. Screenings can be fundraisers and planned along with a discussion or Q&A with local experts.

PPC will be hosting the premiere event for the documentary at a movie theater in Los Angeles, California, with a Q&A and panel discussion after the film led by representatives from several L.A.-based coalition member organizations, including 5 Gyres and Algalita. To participate in this screening or find out more about our format, contact our office.

Contact to find out how to host a screening and get details to sign up as an iTunes affiliate!


About the Film & Plastic Oceans Foundation

Made over a four-year period, this is a beautiful and chilling film, which documents the global effects of plastic pollution. The film introduces workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation (POF) was created to address the global issue of plastic pollution that impacts both our ocean and our health. Through education, science and this award-winning film, POF is actively working to eliminate non-essential plastic to prevent this manmade disaster, before it is too late. You can find out more about the foundation at


Posted in November 2016, Uncategorized

Two problems one solution for green colonies

Vasant Vihar is a clean and green colony.Their two problems were the money they were spending every year on sourcing manure which more often than not was adulterated with mud and chemicals and mounds of fallen leaves every autumn and winters. This year the environmentally conscious lady Inderpreet Kaurof the colony wanted Vatavaran to help them sort their two problems.
We helped them manage dry leaves and make their own organic manure that was not only eco-friendly but cost effective.
Vatavaran has innovated an earth friendly and quick way to compost these leaves.
First step was collecting the leaves , mowing the green grass from the park and procuring cow dung from the nearest dairy.

A large pit 12’x8’x5′ was dug. 10 Kgs. of cow dung was procured and freshly mowed green grass was collected. The pit was layered by fallen dry leaves – green grass- cow dung in 6″-6″-1″thickness. It was sealed from the top and a flag put with the date of burial. Next time the leaves falls , they will be collected , the pit would be emptied of the composted yard waste and after a week or so of airing it will be filled again with this seasons yard waste. From the opened tons of earthy smelling , crumbly organic manure would be obtained, to be used in the same park .
The trees , shrubs, flowers, grass and soil of the park would be very healthy with 2 times composting . No money was spent . Vatavaran volunteers and few community ladies formed a close bondage during this two-day exercise.
On the first day the gardeners were busy in their work and the first layer of vegetation in this case some fresh cut grass of six inches covered the floor of the12 foot long pit this was covered with an inch thick layer cow dung(so that the bacteria can act on the vegetation) next was a layer of around 6 inches of leaves then one inch cowdung and the layers were repeated till the pit was full. Then the same layers were repeated but in decreasing diameter . We were making a small mound instead of the pit being flat .
Then came the leaves from another pit near by, around 6 inches of leaves then an inch of dung. The gardener’s under ours and a lady from the resident environment association’s supervision completed around 4 such layers and the 5 foot pit was almost 70 percent full. The gardeners(2 in number) then complained that they were too tired and they would like to quit. So we decided that the gardeners who had learned the process by then would finish the work early next morning and we would just do the sealing.
The next morning we reached there to find that true to their words the gardeners had finished the job and we just need to add the last layer of leaves , cowdung and green grass and seal the pit. We then instructed the gardeners to make a paste of cow dung and mud by mixing them with water. After they did this they covered the pit with this mixture of mud, dung and water.
Their pit is ready and the leaves are decomposing “Anaerobically” ie without air in this case the germs and bacteria of the dung will help. The compost should be ready in 2-3 months. We will come to know as the leaves in the pit will start sinking and the mound we have made of mud and dung will start sinking. Then it will be time to harvest 100 percent chemical free, backyard made 100 percent organic compost.
During the first visit of the area I had not realized that Vatavaran and B Block Enviro Society were going to have a long term association.
Yashwant Singh
Manager Vatavaran

Posted in October 2016

Diwali- a Festival of Noise & Air Pollution!

From a naïf, pious, ethereal , unworldly festival celebrating the victory of Ram over evil Diwali has become a noisy , disease, scalds, burns, hurts  inflicting, and hearing impairment  festival.


Most colonies in the Capital are already borderline cases because of the din caused by vehicular traffic, and an increase of 20 to 30 dB on Diwali pose a real threat to eardrums. The high levels of noise due to fire—crackers, accompanied by smoke, leads to eye ailments, head aches and nervous problems. The most vulnerable on this day are children, mentally disabled and old people.

Ambient noise standards for a residential area are 55 dBs during the day and 45 dBs during the night. However, on Diwali nights the noise level can go unto 150 dBs.  Hearing loss – temporary or permanent is a serious problem but then there are injuries also on Diwali, nearly 100,000 people are injured or disfigured on Diwali and many of them loose their sight.  There are fires on Diwali taking lives or injuring hundreds of people.  The scenario is grim.


Noise levels on Diwali can cause both pathological and/or psychological disorders. Pathological effects can result from a particular noise frequency that can cause vibrations/ resonance in the body. Psychological disorders range from different phobias like becoming introvert and unable to concentrate on studies or other activities.

Firecrackers are a danger to all animals, both physically and psychologically. Most animals show fear when exposed to the sight or smell of crackers. While house pets quiver and retreat beneath beds, lose their appetite, become snappy and lose weight from stress during this frightening time, some have been known to bolt in panic, jumping through glass windows to escape the explosions. With ears far more sensitive than our own, animals are also vulnerable to permanent ear damage from explosive noises. Older animals are worse affected. The number of lost, traumatized and injured goes up sharply during this period.


Last two years Diwali Enforcement Brigade of Vatavaran surveyed to check if the laws and CPCB guidelines were followed.

  • In 2008 outside Chikitsa hospital in Saket, the people from the neighborhood were lighting high decibel crackers within 50 meters of the hospital. In 2009 there was a little less noise but more of smoke. For a few years law enforcement agencies were alert thus cracker bursting after the prescribed period was tolerable but 2015-16 Diwali turned out to be the worse.


  • In 2015-16, high decibel noise creating crackers were more popular amongst the middle-aged citizens in many residential colonies, the adults were found lighting crackers in the middle of the main roads, grass and under trees. Preferred crackers were Chakris on the grass, anars under the trees and train bombs on roads to follow the moving vehicles.


  • In 2015-16, shops in medium to big markets had licenses but most of them did not comply with the rules like (a) keeping the sand bags (b) keeping buckets of water (c) selling crackers not made by children and (d) selling crackers, which did not produce sound above 125dB. In Alaknanda market, all the crackers sold were from Punjab probably made by children and producing sounds much above 125 dB. There were no crackers from Sivakasi at all in the market. In Hauz Khas and Kalkaji, market, there was a mixture of crackers- some were complying with the CPCB guidelines while some were not. In RK Puram market, no shop had sandbags or water or CPCB guidelines. Shops in residential colonies had not displayed the license, if they had the licenses; the shopkeepers had them in their pockets. In Asian Games Village, the shopkeeper said that he was not even aware that a license was needed. No shop in the rural- urban villages had any licenses. In Tughlaqabad though the police was on duty, the shops were running without licenses.



In 2009, CPCB has allocated a team of 60 people to monitor decibel levels, air pollution, volatile organic compounds in the air and sources of pollution and, Vatavaran’s  200 persons’ work force had  multiple missions; were also on duty  to revive the lost spirit of Diwali, survey the available crackers, help, guide people, examine the shops selling the crackers and where to report.

 Residential areas

Location Recommended

Noise levels

Highest Noise level at a Day time Highest Noise level at Night Average Noise level during Diwali
Old Rajinder Nagar 45-55 dBs

(Residential Area)

60- 80 dBs 60- 80 dBs          2008    2009


100         90 dBs

(too many vehicles in too narrow roads)
Darya Gunj 75 –85 dBs 60- 80 dBs 100      90 dBs
(Narrow Lane, Heavy traffic)
Vasant Kunj 60- 65 dBs 80-85 dBs          85         80 dBs
(Air Crafts)
Green Park 70-90 dBs 70-90 dBs 90          80 dBs
(Printing Machines and Generators)
Commercial areas



Anand Parbat




65 – 75 dBs

(Industrial Area)




90 dBs




90 dBs




100    90 dBs

(Industries set in houses)
Palika Bazaar 55-65 dBs


(Commercial Area)

80 – 100 dBs

(Blaring Music and Echo)



L.N.J.P.Hospital 44 – 50 dBs

(Silent Zone)

68 – 72 dBs 60 – 70 dBs 85 – 80 dBs
(Lack of green cover)

CRT Study:

In 2006, a year long study by the Centre for Research and Fitness examined the respiratory health of 510 people. It found that during Diwali 54.5% developed cough, wheezing and breathlessness. The air had dangerously high levels of NO (over 3ppm-decreasing lung function); So2 (over 6ppm- constricting bronchi); CO (causing shortness of breath and chest pain because, hemoglobin which carries oxygen to various parts of the body, has 200 times greater affinity to CO; and SPM (crackers smoke is richer in SPM as metals like cadmium, lithium, copper and aluminum are added to produce colorful sparks. The pollutants especially free oxygen radicals – damage cellular function in lungs).




Duties  of Diwali Enforcement Brigade of Vatavaran


  1. Help people Choose the crackers they use
  • In 2008, it was ejecting, Big Bombs, and Garland Crackers while in 2009 it was primarily Hawaii’s and Automatic Rockets. .
  • Reduce the number of Cake Bombs and Sparklers.
  • Rejoice with Chakris by lighting them one at a time in an open concrete area,
  • Select Phooljharis with sticks at least 6 to 8 inches long and Anars that do not have Potassium Chlorate.


  1. Help people decide the proper clothing
  • While lighting crackers wear cotton or other fire resistant clothing.
  • Do not wear nylon clothes or loose fitting clothes.
  • Temporary fire retardation can be obtained by soaking clothes in solutions of such chemicals as borax, boric acid, di-ammonium phosphate and ammonium soleplate.



  1. Help people know
  • The bombs and crackers have carbon rich gun powder, and sparklers have chemicals like Sulphur, Lead, and Nitrates of Potassium, Sodium, Strontium, Copper, Barium etc.
  • Toxic gases like release of high levels of Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), and Oxides of Nitrogen are released on Diwali night causing ailments like breathlessness, asthma, headaches, chest congestion, and cough, irritation in the eyes, reduced visibility, and slow responses.


  1. Public awareness related to noise
  • That the violation of laws related to noise pollution, is a punishable offence under Criminal Procedure Code of India.
  • In India 50 lakh, people suffer from noise induced hearing loss and firecrackers are the major cause. Pathological disorders like temporary or permanent loss of hearing, loss of appetite, irritability, high blood pressure and psychological disorders like phobias, loss of concentration, stressfulness, disorientation, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, aggressive behavior etc.
  • Pets must not be exposed to high levels of noise during Diwali night


  1. 5. Ensure the shops selling crackers have
  • A license duly signed by the Area Police Commissioner, prominently displayed along with the conditions for selling crackers as laid down by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Government of India.
  • Ensure that the shop is on ground level, does not sell any thing else, has an area between 9 to 25 sq. meters, has sandbags, fire extinguishers, buckets of water, and is not encroaching the road.
  • It sells bombs, crackers and sparklers which comply with the standards laid down by the Department of Explosives and Environment Protection Act.
  • In Delhi only1373 shopkeepers to sell crackers. Shops that sell crackers should be on a nine metric wide road with all fire-safety equipment in the place. Shop should be on the ground floor. The area of the shop should also be between nine and 25 square meters. No other trade will be allowed from the shop. The power owner must keep proper fire-safety equipment in the shop to prevent disaster. A board with sign ‘no smoking’ should be put up and an adequate number of extinguishers, sand bags and buckets should be placed in the shop. The electrical wiring in the shop should also be fixed and effectively sealed or conducted. Crackers of a prescribed noise level should also be sold. They should not be just out on the pavement. No loose sale of crackers is permitted. Children should not be employed. They should also be within in the authorized quantity and proper records should be maintained.



  1. Report to the local police
  • If the shopkeepers are not following points 4,5 and 6
  • If people are bursting crackers above the prescribed noise level or and after the stipulated time of 6 PM to 10 PM.
  • Pets exposed to high levels of noise during Diwali night
S no. Name Noise level




Manufacturer Rate


1. Rocket: 136 dB Yes Kalahari Rs. 15 for 10 X
2. Shell: 136 dB Yes Kalahari Rs.75for3. X
3. Parachute 136 dB Yes Kalahari Rs.25O for l0 X
4. Green Bomb 162 dB Not declared Kalahari Re. 1 each. X
5. Foil Bomb: 162 dB Not declared Kalahari Rs. 2 each X
6. Flower pot: 157 dB Not declared Coronation Rs. 20 for 7 X
7. Motta Bomb 155 dB Not declared Kalahari Rs. 20 for 10 X
8. China Al Not known Not declared Kalahari Rs. 20 for 7 X
9. Toy bomb 157 dB Not declared Kalahari Rs 45 for 15 X
10. Cake bomb 130 dB Yes Revathi Rs. 80 for 7 X
11. Roll Amorces 149 dB Not declared Kalahari Rs 5 for 1 strip X
12. Garland 153 dB Not declared Kalahari Rs. 100 for 150 X
13. 12 Star 160 dB Yes Kalahari Rs. 250 for 12 X
14. Liberty Bomb 156 dB Not declared Laxmi Shankar Rs. 10 for 30 X
15. Bijli Train Crackers 149 dB Yes No namei Rs. 50 for 100 X
16. Singara 100 dB Not declared  No name Rs. 20 for 40 X
17. Mirchi: 75 dB Not Declared No name Rs. 2 for 25 X
  • Crackers are burst with-in a radius of 100 meters near silent zones like hospitals, nursing homes etc.




Vatavaran’s Survey of Popular Sparklers & Crackers in the Market:


The public buys the crackers and sparklers available in the market. While in 2008 the loud bombs, train bombs, cake bombs had dominated the market, in 2009 it was sparklers– bigger in size, more colorful sparkles. The ear bursting noise levels of 2008 were replaced with smoky sky, watery eyes and breathlessness in 2009. The other replaced one hazard.



Flower pot


Not declared




Rs. 45 for 10#



Chakris Rs. 15/- for 1 # X
Black Rs. 10/- for 3 X
Mayur Bangal Thayilpatti Rs. 10/- for 10 X
Ground Jai Ganga Rs. 80/- for 15 X
Gold Sparkles Vijay Lakshmi Rs. 60/- for 12 X
Jil-Jil Lakshmi Rs. 15/- for 5 X
Colored Sparkles Rs. 100/- for 2 X
Pencil Sparkles Rs. 25/- for 10 X
Saanp Tikki Rs. 2/.- for 12 X
Rail Rs. 2/- for1 X






1 CPCB conditions must be attached to the permission letter shopkeepers get from the Area Police Commissioner.

2 Shopkeepers must be made to sign a document that they have understood the conditions and would comply by them.

3 Awareness creating children teams must definitely have a mixture of adults and children.

4 Enforcement Brigade created by Vatavaran must have its cards signed by some government authority.

5 Other NGO’s should also start Enforcement Brigade


Dr. Ms. Iqbal Malik
Vatavaran logo

Founder & Director

Posted in Oktober 2016, Uncategorized

How toys contribute to the problem of environmental pollution?

I spent a lot of my time with my nieces in the last two months. Ana is 6, Ema is 2.  There is nothing more beautiful than spending time with these innocent but naughty girls, understanding how they see the world around them and bringing that beauty of childhood back to me. Life indeed, can be a playground!

I noticed that they are playing with way too many toys and most of them are made of plastics. It kind of shocked me and I wanted to protest. I will not allow something like that. I mean, I am still their aunt, right? I knew, it is not really my decision what they play with but at least I could reduce the amount of those kind of toys whenever they are around me.

For example, some toys like plastic soldiers, baby dolls are responsible for water and air pollution because they leach or discharge hazardous toxins. We are taking so much care of our kids but then they are playing with toys made of PVC plastic, which is the deadliest plastic nowadays.  It is typically mixed with another noxious chemical, phthalate, to make the finished play thing flexible rather than rigid. Two phthalates commonly used in plastic toy production are DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate) and DNIP (Di-isonoyl phthalate). It causes cancer, liver and kidney disease risks, baby girls who develop breast prematurely.  The fact is that kid’s bodies are tinier, so this deadly chemicals race through their nervous systems and concentrate in their organs faster. Since their brains and the other parts of their bodies are still growing, higher concentrations of these toxins cause more harm than in fully developed system.  Not to mention that kids are putting any and everything into their mouths so the toxins from plastic are easily consumed but not quickly removed.

Plastic battery – operated toys are a double –edge sword of polluting toxins because batteries cannot be recycled.

But then I noticed one more thing. My nieces were actually playing more with “toys”.  Different materials and stuffs around them which are in every household are giving them a real life experience and it seems they are enjoying it the most. Baby dolls and plastic cars are just for a while, but I saw these girls playing for 2 hours with the real kitchen material or with cobs outside in the nature. Of course it was the best to have fun with what I was doing – helping me with making cookies, hang laundry or sweep the floor.  They love it if they can do the same as we adults do.

Wooden toys are by far more environmentally friendly and a better choice for children and the Earth. Unpainted, unvarnished, solid wood toys last longer than plastic toys, need no batteries, and encourage kids to use creativity and imagination to create play. Ema got a gift from India –a wooden elephant family and right now this is her main toy.


You can reduce or eradicate plastic pollution by buying fewer plastic toys, or recycling these types of toys rather than disposing them off. Write to your congressional representatives and urge them to lobby for tougher labelling laws so consumers will be aware of deadly plastic in toys.

Plastic toys do pollute, but with increased consumer awareness and cooperation from plastic toy manufacturers, the effects of this type of pollution can be reduced. The best and most sustainable response to “How do toys pollute the environment?” is humankind’s willingness to place stewardship over price and convenience.


Katja Polc, Vatavaran volunteer