A friend gave the kid this eco-friendly stuffed puppy, handmade in Vermont from unbleached, undyed, organic cotton by a company called Peace Toys.
They're the original manufacturer of HUGG-A-PLANETSÆ, giant stuffed globes printed (in environmentally friendly dyes) with Our Endangered Planet. HUGG-A-PLANETSÆ have been on TV and in movies: "As seen in K-Pax [by no one but us and Kevin Spacey's mother]." The site features a population clock, updating the company's target market projections in real time ["If 6,362,357,757 people each bought one HUGG-A-PLANETÆ..."].
All cute and fine, to be sure, but I wanted more. You know, think global, but act local. Why isn't there a stuffed tree I can get for my kid to hug? I stripmined the net and came up with three options: Floppy Bunnies and Hollow Tree ("This set redefines the word 'adorable!'"); Fuzzy Town plush toy tree stumps to store your other stuffed toys; or teddy bear Christmas tree ornaments in different "outfits," including tree suits ("L'il Spruce" and "L'il Frazier"). More than a l'il ridiculous.
Just when I thought I'd have to get in my Hummer and drive to the mall to find gear for my little tree hugger, I found ElectricTofu.com, "T-shirts, mugs, and stuff, for people who think." These activist entrepreneurs have piles of gear you'll never see at Outback Steakhouse: vegan designs ("Milk for calves! Not for kids!"), pro-hemp designs, animal rights designs ("Animals love me. Plants fear me.")--and a whole assortment of toys, bibs and bodysuits emblazoned with a "Little Tree Hugger" logo. Make that Little Tree HuggerÆ.