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Surprising Ways to Recycle Baby Products
In our green-conscious world, it’s good to know that there are a lot of creative uses for so much of baby’s stuff you’ve got lying around. Here are some ideas to help you breathe new life into baby gear.

Baby food leftovers. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about reusing strained peas. But those glass jars and plastic containers are just the right size for storing or carrying a variety of things from homemade vinaigrette to bring to work with your salad, to paper clips to nuts and bolts. Use them for spices or decorate them for DIY party favors… the possibilities are endless!

Wipes cases. Wipe out clutter with—yes, that’s right—empty plastic wipes cases. As your infant grows, the toys and games get smaller, and have many more pieces. These cases are perfect for containing small toy sets, crayons and other art supplies, card and dice games, etc. In the pantry, you can even use it to store plastic grocery bags – just pull one through the center hole as needed.

Cloth keepers. All of those burp clothes, bibs, and cloth diapers – the ones that aren’t super stained, of course—can come in handy as household cleaning rags. Along those lines, if you have any sewing talent, extra receiving blankets are great to repurpose into small pillow covers or quilts. Or an older child can use them to swaddle her prized baby dolls.

A few more…

Nursing pads. If you come across unused cotton nursing pads in your medicine cabinet, add a few to your makeup bag—they make for excellent makeup removal.

Baby powder. While not usually recommended because of potential choking hazards, if you received any baby powder as part of a gift set, use it for trips to the beach. Just apply a little onto hands, legs and feet for easier sand removal.

Bottles. If you have plastic baby bottles, hang onto a couple to use as measuring cups in the kitchen. Or, if you’re crafty, use them to store small craft items like buttons, sequins, and beads.

Donate! Beyond personal use at home, before you start tossing your infant's things to make room for the toddler years, it's worth a couple of calls to local organizations to see if anyone is in need of baby item donations.

As quickly as that first year will go, finding new uses for items you don’t use anymore can be a win-win for recycling and frugal living.
Dawn Papandrea