Children come with a lot of gear. As they get older, decluttering things you no longer need feels so good! What doesn’t feel so good is dropping off a truck-load of stuff at the dump.
And what about all those things that the dump doesn’t accept? What do you do with those?
Going minimalist is such a great feeling, and you can do it in a way that makes the earth feel good too!
Here are some of our best tips to recycle or donate the things that every Metro Vancouver parent has, and doesn’t know what to do with when they no longer need them.
Bring your clothes (any brand, any condition) to H&M and they will recycle them for you! So those onesies that are stained with spit-up (or worse)? H&M will take them. All the pants that have holes in the knees from your speedy crawlers? H&M will take those too. How handy is that? All the clothing is picked up from H&M by a partner who sorts them for re-wear, reuse or recycling.
The bike your kids have outgrown could be donated or used for parts to rehabilitate other bikes that are donated in the community through Vancouver Bike Recycling. Give the gift of cycling to people who would otherwise not be able to ride, all while disposing of an unwanted bike in an eco-friendly way.
Most optometrist offices serve as collection points for old glasses. If yours does not, the David Suzuki Foundation produced this list to help you find somewhere to recycle your old glasses. See a future with a healthy planet more clearly by recycling your glasses.
You can drop off your used running shoes and apparel at North Face as part of their Clothes The Loop campaign in Kitsilano, Granville and Coquitlam. Another option is the Think Thrice but please make sure the shoes are in good condition.
All finished painting the nursery and have leftover paint just sitting around? While the most eco-friendly way to deal with extra paint is to simply re-use it, if space is at a premium or if the colour no longer fits your decor, BC PaintRecycle takes used paint for recycling.
Have an expired car seat or is your child too big for a car seat now? Don’t put it in the trash! PMD Recycling Solutions in Vancouver recycles car seats for a fee, as does Queensborough Landing Return-It Depot (cash only, $10).
Have you transitioned from crib to toddler bed or toddler bed to “big kid” bed? Is your child too big for your baby carrier or swing? We have 2 great options for you to extend the usefulness of these items. If your items are in good condition, and not subject to a recall, BabyGoRound is a local non-profit dedicated to providing Lower Mainland families in need with essential equipment, clothing, and products for their infants and young children. To donate your gear, you can drop it off at their Vancouver office on certain days and times, or arrange to meet up with a local volunteer in your community!
If your items are not in usable condition or have been recalled, Furniture Pickup recycles furniture and mattresses for a fee. They will also take old sofas, chairs and other furniture. For free, they will accept anything metal (that is not an appliance.) Up to 95% of each piece of furniture can generally be recycled and given new life.
Electronics, Batteries & Medication
Want to celebrate your big kids sleeping through the night by ditching your baby monitor? Have a leftover prescription from the last time your little one was sick? London Drugs not only accepts many of these items for recycling including batteries (with some restrictions based on condition, quantity and shipping space available), but they will also dispose of leftover medication in a safe manner. Neither electronics nor medication belong in a landfill, so this is a great option to bring things and pick up things you need for your family all in one stop.
Now that you know how to reduce, reuse and recycle all your old baby gear in a sustainable, eco-friendly way, you are all set to keep your resolution of living more minimally!
Wondering what to do with the kids in Metro Vancouver this weekend, or what to make for dinner? You can find it at HealthyFamilyLiving.com! From the Sunshine Coast to the Fraser Valley, we’re the best online resource for busy parents looking for practical tips for healthy, active, sustainable living. For the latest on family events, outdoor adventures, birthday parties, camps & classes and kid-approved recipes, follow us on Facebook and sign-up for our parent-approved e-newsletter!