Action: Reuse baby equipment, toys and clothes

Baby equipment, toys and clothes are some of the best things to be reusing – here’s why and how!

This is a nice simple action that helps others, helps your environment and reduces our consumption of resources. Simply make sure that baby equipment, toys and clothes are passed on to where they will be reused.

Why baby stuff in particular?

Of course, we agree that all unwanted items should be reused if at all possible, and then otherwise recycled properly so that they do not end up in landfill. In particular man-made fabrics and plastic toys/equipment add to the massive microplastic pollution problem we are all facing.

But baby things are particularly suited to this conscious action.

We’d encourage you – if your children are growing up – to pass things on and not just stash them away in the attic or discard them.

These items are suited to re-use because …

  • they won’t have had much wear, sometime only being used for weeks before a child grows and is ready for the next toy
  • baby clothes can be particularly pretty and it’s a shame that they get stashed away
  • other parents and families will really appreciate such a thoughtful gift
  • children’s items can be expensive, and for some people the expense is difficult for a short-term need
  • because they get used so little, items can often be passed on several times
  • sizes, styles and colours are not critical!
  • if passed on within a family, memories and family links are further strengthened and cherished

Why is this important

We live in a very wasteful, throwaway society – especially in western countries – and we need to find ways to reduce the amount we consume and the amount we discard. We need to stop buying and throwing away things unnecessarily so as to reduce the impact on our environment.

Clothing, equipment and toys (especially plastics) impact on our environment by:

  • carbon emissions in manufacture and transport
  • use of natural resources
  • unethical manufacturing practices exploiting some poorer communities
  • man made fabrics add to plastic pollution and fossil fuel consumption
  • discarded clothing ends up in landfill or incinerators
  • plastics add to the massive global “plastic pandemic” we are facing

What to do

You can pass on baby items in a number of ways:

  • to pregnant family members and friends
  • to family members and friends with young children
  • at a friends baby shower or gender reveal
  • through charity shops
  • on eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle
  • at car boot sales
  • to local charities supporting disadvantaged families
  • at a ‘help yourself’ stand
  • at a toy library
  • through mumsnet and other fora
  • we are sure you will think of other ways too!

Sentimental items

We do know that some items have a sentimental value and carry lots of memories, so it is quite understandable to want to keep hold of them. But if you have several items in a drawer or cupboard, choose one or two special ones to keep and pass on the rest, you will be freeing up space in your life too! One or two special items will carry all the memories of your child just as much as a draw full!

Take action

Declutter, help others, and increase the amount you re-use – sell, give away, or donate your outgrown baby clothes, toys and equipment. Your child and their children will appreciate the steps you are taking to protect our planet.

Thank you!

Three children
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