In Brief

These sustainable building blocks are made from old coffee beans, cedar bark and cedar sawdust.

Natural materials are making a foray into toys with the launch of a new building block called Earth Blocks, which can be snapped together to create different shapes and structures. They are very similar to Lego but provide an eco-friendly alternative, with softer edges and muted, natural colors.

Developed by Japanese design studio Colors Tokyo, the blocks are made from a composite of the bark of the cedar tree, compressed dust from sawed-off cedar logs, coffee beans and green tea leaves. These natural materials are blended with polypropylene to maintain a rigid shape. Earth Blocks are currently available in just one shape and size, and you can get a pack of 50 from the Guggenheim museum for $30.

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