Friday, December 26, 2008

After the Holiday Comes the Clean Up and Clear Out of Toys

In my house we live by the ‘one out one in’ rule. If I purchase something new it is generally due to the fact that something else has completely worn out, broken, or become outdated to a point where it is no longer functional and has already made its way to a recycling center or charity. Since it is just my husband and I there are far fewer family members to determine the supposed need for the item in question. Even though we do not have children we do own some board games, stuffed animals of sentimental value and other items that are deemed “kid”. These items are a small portion of our overall possessions but for those with children it becomes necessary to locate an alternate solution for all of the toys the children in question no longer find appealing.

A friend of mine collects all of these toys and other items her children outgrow in a given year and sells them on craigslist to families who are looking for a toy in that growth stage at a reduced cost. She collects this money over the course of the year and uses it to completely finance their summer vacation. In the past few years she, her two sons and a friend have been taking tours of all the major league baseball parks in the country, seeing games and touring the cities they are located in. The trips are a lot of fun for everyone and they are making far greater memories by selling these items instead of placing them in boxes in the attic.

Not all people have the desire to spend their time uploading photos and descriptions of items onto an internet selling or auction site but there are many additional ways to recycle without going through all of those steps. Why not check in with local preschools, public schools, churches, hospitals or other charitable organizations to see if they would be able to utilize the toy in question. Another great way to recycle a toy is to check with local community organizations to see if there are families who have fallen on hard times and are in need of assistance. For new families in the neighborhood why not put together a gift basket of formerly loved toys that are still in great shape. This will help the family save a great deal of money and introduce the child to something they may not have had the opportunity to acquire otherwise.

Earth911 is a website dedicated to discussing the benefits to recycling just about anything from toys to bicycles to eyeglasses. They provide great tips for recycling parts of children’s toys like batteries or electronic components. As the world of technology improves, toys can become outdated faster but throwing them away leads to tons of e-waste being placed in landfills. Recycling these toys will help keep over half of all toxic waste out of landfills and stop potential pollution of waterways. In addition it will ensure less air pollution as emissions are not being released to construct something new.

Now that the holidays are winding down families are attempting to find space to store all of the new items that have come into their home and one of the easiest ways to do it is to recycle the old. What may seem boring to one child might just be the best gift ever to another.


Judi FitzPatrick said...

Fabulous ideas, great post!
Peace, Judi

artjewl said...

at the risk of sounding incredibly redundant, I'll say it again:

Hyla Waldron said...

I usually take one trash bag full of household items and toys to the salvation army a month.