Will green toys become new toddler status symbol?

With Wal-Mart pushing sustainability, industry sales could top $1 billion within five years.

This is sort of mind-boggling number when you think about it. There's a report in the latest issue of BusinessWeek that suggests the market for "green" toys may hit $1 billion over the next five years, or roughly 5 percent of all toy sales.

I don't know what's more impressive, the fact that green toys may soon top that magical mark or the fact that toys actually generated something like $21.5 billion in sales last year alone.

The materials that these toys are made out of -- wood, minimal paints, recycled plastics -- are what makes them greener than the competition. And the fact that Wal-Mart has been pushing the category, is helping build awareness.

So, here's my question: Is it really "greener" to go out and buy one of these new green-blessed toys OR is it greener to do what parents have been doing for generations—handing down the best toys through several siblings if not several generations?

One thing that is a positive: If you get kids thinking about sustainability from the time they can walk, it's more likely to be an innate behavior when the grow into adulthood.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com