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Target Will Pay You To Stop Throwing Car Seats In the Trash

Photograph by Twenty20

If you're anything like me, your house looks like a rummage sale for new parents. But why do we have such a hard time letting go of used car seats, even when our kids no longer need them? My daughter will be 10 this summer, and there are still two large convertible seats in the attic, along with another three boosters "just in case."

The problem is kind of three-fold: sentimentality, mixed with a bit of lazy. And also the very unappealing idea of just throwing these big chunks of plastic, metal and trendy upholstery in the trash. That can't be good, right?

Target thinks not. So they've teamed up with TerraCycle and are throwing you a spring-cleaning bone that you won't want to miss.

In honor of Earth Month (aka: April), Target’s Car Seat Trade-in Event encourages customers to drop off old car seats from April 17 to 30 to be "upcycled" into new products. In return, guests get a coupon for 20 percent off any car seat purchase in-store or at Target.com, good through May 31.

Ahhh ... but what if you don't NEED a new car seat? What if you only have one child who is too old (or too big) to use one? What good is a coupon for an upgrade when you can sell the old one in exchange for cold, hard cash?!

That's a great idea, but only if you follow through.

Most of us who talk about selling used car seats never do (and, lately, car seats come with expiration dates which, let's be honest, yours has long since passed). In the end, we usually end up tossing them into a dark space until the dust from their pre-stained fabric starts burning our eyes. It's the Catch-22 of motherhood and, unless you are committed to the process, a complete waste of time and space.

Perhaps it is time to let go.

If all goes according to plan, Target hopes to keep over 700,000 pounds of car seat materials out of landfills. That's a LOT of usable terrain and a good reason for us to clean house.

"We wanted to make it easy for guests to do something positive for the planet and their communities,” says Jennifer Silberman, chief sustainability officer, Target. “We love this opportunity to give families an environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted car seats and get the new ones they need just in time for spring.”

Disposal bins will be placed in the baby section or near the front of the store, and guests are asked to locate a team member to receive the coupon.

Even if you have no use for Target's 20 percent off upgrade coupon, you probably know someone who does and paying it forward (in this case) will benefit everyone on the planet—including those children we live to protect.

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