Earth Day 2021 might look a little different than usual, with so many children stuck at home. But that hasn’t slowed down a raft of new green initiatives the industry is rolling out.
Kids are very interested in helping the environment,—according to 2019 data from Viacom, 74% of six- to 11-year-olds said they care “a lot” about the environment, and 45% worry they’re not doing enough to protect it.
From new partnerships, to increased commitments to green up their own operations, kids entertainment companies are stepping up their sustainability efforts and launching new initiatives to teach kids how to do the same.
World Wildlife Fund
The studios behind upcoming animated film Koati (pictured) have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to create educational materials for the NGO’s website that are designed to teach kids about nature. The family-friendly feature centers around a team of exotic animals who work together to save their rainforest. Latin WE Productions, Upstairs Animation, Magnus Studios and Jose Jacif are producing the movie, with actors Sofia Vergara and Marc Anthony attached as executive producers.
Zuru has committed to plastic-free packaging for its entire Sparkle Girlz doll line by 2025, and the Hong Kong-based toyco is also developing slimmer packaging for its Tiny Town vehicles so that more SKUs can be bundled in shipments, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. These new initiatives build on Zuru’s original push to go green by making its Bunch O Balloons brand fully recyclable in 2019.
Earlier this month, Spin Master teamed up with TerraCycle to launch a free toy recycling program in the US market.
Under the deal, TerraCycle cleans the used toys that are returned by customers and melts them down into hard plastic that can then be used to make products like park benches and picnic tables. All Spin Master toys are eligible, except for its Kinetic Sand brand, which is made from a non-recyclable substance.
TerraCycle has similar existing partnerships with a handful of other kidcos, including Hasbro, MGA Entertainment and Zuru.
Mother Goose Club
Kids YouTube channel Mother Goose Club (eight million subscribers) is live-streaming an Earth Day special launching today. It features the brand’s live-action characters singing, dancing and doing craft activities with a focus on climate education and conservation.
Last week, Nick ran its new Earth Day special Nick News: Kids and the Impact of Climate Change, which tackles environmental issues and teaches kids how to protect the planet. John Kerry (US special presidential envoy for climate) makes an appearance, along with celebrities like Lily Collins and the NFL’s Rob Gronkowski.