The old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is never more true than after you have a baby. One of my favorite green parenting tips for new parents is to NOT throw out the trash….at least not until you look at emptied containers to see which ones your baby might like to play with!
First, be sure to make sure that the container is safe to play with. There should be no small pieces, sharp edges or broken parts. Some of the best baby toys are canisters and plastic jars. Second, clean the container and make sure there all of the food is cleared away. Remove any removable labels or stickers. I usually give mine a good spin through the dishwasher. After being inspected and cleaned the containers are ready to give to the baby!
Now that he’s crawling, my son loves to watch canisters roll across the floor and chase after them. I watched his eyes light up as he looked through the clear, clean jar that once held peanut butter. When he’s a little older, we’ll turn egg crates into painting palates and paper towel tubes into horns. I feel good about giving my containers a second useful life and not having those items sitting in a landfill.
As with all toys you give your baby, be sure to periodically inspect your reused/recycled toys for wear and tear. When they are worn or damaged, you can recycle them.