My family joined the Tom’s of Maine Less Waste Challenge to help us reduce the used toys clutter in our home and lessen our contribution to the 250 million+ tons of waste generated every year in the United States. As part of the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Circle of bloggers, I will be compensated for this blog post. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.
I have four kids, which means we have lots (and lots) of toys. We have inside toys and outside toys and everywhere in between toys. I don’t mind the toys as long as my kids play with them and put the toys back where they belong when they are finished playing. We’re still working on that last part.
Some of my children’s toys get played with until they completely wear out, while other toys may hardly get any use at all. Either way, toys come and toys go at our house on a regular basis.
The cool thing I have learned is that when it is time for toys to go, they don’t need to go into the garbage can. Toys don’t have to become part of our landfills. There are lots of options for used – even broken – toys!
Check out this list to find out what to do with unwanted, broken and used toys that doesn’t involve putting them to waste in landfills.
- Recycle Broken Toys. Yes, you read that right: Recycle. Believe it or not, broken toys are not totally useless. Tom’s of Maine encourages families to reduce waste by sending unwanted toys to the toy recycling program. It’s super easy! Here’s how:
- Visit Tom’s of Maine and enter your contact information to receive a free UPS shipping label via email
- Fill an old box with up to ten pounds of broken toys and ship it out with the label. That’s it!
- Donate Used Toys. Many places around your town gladly accept gently used toys. Contact local thrift stores, charities, shelters, daycares, pediatrician offices, and social services to find out where to drop off toy donations. Your unwanted toys can bring happiness to other children.
- Host a Toy Swap. This is a fun activity to do with neighborhood, school or other community groups. Set a time for everyone to bring unwanted toys and swap them for toys they want.
- Make money selling unwanted used toys. Earn extra cash by selling toys at a yard sale or posting an online ad.
- Hand-me-down Toys. Kids outgrow toys that still have a lot of life left in them. Ask friends and family members if they or someone they know would want to take over ownership of toys your child has outgrown. You may be surprised by how often you get takers! Free hand-me-down toys are a score for parents and kids.
It’s time for the kids to help me spring clean the toy room. We started filling a toy donation box for the Tom’s of Maine Less Waste Challenge. The broken toys and games with missing pieces add up quickly!
How do you reduce the toy clutter at your house? Do you have any broken toys to send in for toy recycling?
Another way families can reduce waste is to upcycle. Watch this cool video to see how to Turn Your Mouthwash Bottle Into a Bird Feeder, and then click here to see How to Turn Your Toothpaste Carton into a Gift Box.
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