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Toys That Make Less Trash

It’s Earth Day, and Mattel has a present for our planet.

A toy car on a small road with scenery in the background

© Mattel

The Matchbox Tesla Roadster is made from mostly recycled materials.

Just in time for Earth Day, Mattel has introduced some toys that might be kinder to our planet than other toys. 

Mattel’s Mega Bloks Green Town is a group of building sets that are made mostly from plant-based materials. The Matchbox Tesla Roadster is also made by Mattel. It’s a toy car that’s made from 99 percent recycled materials. 

Not every toy is friendly to the planet. In fact, many plastic toys are made using fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. When plastic is made from fossil fuels, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are released. This plastic keeps releasing greenhouse gases even long after it has been made. Having too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leads to climate change. 

Plastic also takes hundreds of years to break down. If plastic isn’t recycled, it just sits in landfills with all of our other garbage.

So why might Mega Bloks Green Town and the Matchbox Tesla Roadster be better for the environment than other toys? Materials that are made from plants, like Green Town, produce fewer greenhouse gases. And toys made from recycled materials, like the Tesla Roadster, need less new plastic to make them.

Mattel says it’s trying to be more and more Earth-friendly. In 2019, the company pledged to use “100 percent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based [plant-based] plastics materials in both its products and packaging.” It said it would do this by the year 2030. 

That would be a great gift for our planet.

Did You Know?

GIF of baby elephants appearing and crowding the screen

© Utopia_88—iStock/Getty Images Plus; animation by Encyclopædia Britannica

Every year, the world produces 2.01 billion metric tons of garbage. That’s the same as 20 billion baby elephants!

April 22 is Earth Day

Here are some ways you can be more planet-friendly!

  • Use Less Energy


    -Turn things off when you don’t need them.

    - Use fans instead of air conditioning

    - Turn the heat down and put on a sweater.

    - Walk, ride your bike, or take the bus when you can.

  • Make Less Waste

    - Use reusable bags instead of plastic.

    - Recycle paper, cans, plastic, and glass.

    - Recycle clothes by giving them to thrift stores.

  • Run Less Water


    - Take shorter showers.

    - Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth.

    - Don’t water your lawn in the middle of the day when it’s hot.

All illustrations: © yusufdemirci/

Earth’s Heroes

A young woman speaks while holding a microphone

© Theo Wargo/Getty Images Entertainment

A lot of people are working hard to protect our planet. Xiye Batista is one of them.

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Word of the Day


Part of speech:



: trying to protect or meant to protect the natural world : concerned with protecting the environment

Definitions provided by
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How many words can you make from these letters? All your words must use the letter in the center. All your words must be three letters or more.