Despite my best efforts, plastic has an unavoidable way of creeping its way into my child's toys -- like a well-meaning gift of plastic blocks. So imagine my delight at seeing these naturally-based LEGO blocks made out of sawdust, cedar bark shavings, coffee beans and green tea leaves, made by Japanese design company Colors Tokyo.
The blocks, which come in sets of either material so that each set is of a different color and smell, are available on in one size (1.25 by 5/8 by 5/8 inches). They're a little softer than your conventional plastic LEGO blocks, but still snap together as usual. Apparently, the natural materials are blended together with recyclable polypropylene (behold, a hidden thermoplastic polymer!) to help them hold together. Well, at least they won't feel like plastic.
Available for purchase at the Guggenheim Museum shop for $30 (certainly a nice gift idea for plastic-leery families).