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If you don’t know what to do with expired car seats, then we’ll tell you exactly what to do with them. When most people think about expiration dates, the first thing that comes to mind is food. However, there are other forms of expiration. If your child has outgrown a particular car seat, and you have no intentions of having more children in the future, it would be accurate to say that the car seat has expired.
After all, it has gone past its usefulness at this point. This begs the question of what exactly should you do with your expired car seats? There are several different paths that you can take instead of just tossing an expensive car seat into the dumpster.
Some people opt to trade their car seats in for coupons, and other people consider the idea of recycling the seat entirely. If you do have more kids planned for your future, you should absolutely save the car seat for that child. No matter what you plan on doing, there is definitely another use for your car seat somewhere, and it will do you well to take this opportunity.
What To Do With Expired Car Seats
Reusing the Car Seat
If you don’t know what to do with expired car seats and depending on your situation, you can consider reusing the car seat. If your oldest child has a younger sibling, it might be worth it to keep the car seat stored somewhere until the younger child is ready to use it. This will save you the hassle of having to buy the exact same car seat down the line. You should also consider this possibility if your children don’t yet have a younger sibling, but one is in the definite future.
If you have a friend or family member who has children around the same age and size as yours, you might want to consider donating the car seat to them. Not only is this a kind gesture that will make your friendship even stronger, but it will also ensure that the car seat gets even more use before it is time to throw it out. These are just a few ways that you can reuse an old car seat that you no longer need.
Trading In Your Expired Car Seat
There are several different stores that allow you to bring in your old car seat that your child no longer needs for a coupon on a brand-new car seat. Some stores don’t always allow this, and some stores only offer this on their own car seats, meaning that you need to trade in one of their seats to benefit from this deal. This means that you will need to do a little bit of research beforehand, but once the research is done, you will be glad that you traded your car seat in.
Some stores offer coupons of up to 20% off on a brand-new car seat, which can be particularly helpful when you have a fast-growing child who keeps outgrowing one seat after the other. This will also make it easier for you to choose a seat that your child appreciates, if you choose to bring the child with you.
This process is an environmentally friendly one as well, which means that you won’t have to worry about damaging the environment when you bring in your old car seat. Instead, you can rest assured knowing that your old car seat will be taken care of properly, and you will be well on your way to purchasing a new seat that is safe and affordable. In fact, trading in your car seat can save millions of pounds of materials from ending up in a landfill, and this is something that everyone can appreciate.
Recycling the Car Seat
Just as you can trade-in or reuse the car seat, you can also consider recycling it in an environmentally friendly manner. Doing this will remove the car seat from your storage space, giving you more free space to work with. It will also dispose of the car seat in an environmentally proper manner, so you don’t have to worry about contributing to the problems of the environment. With all of this being said, recycling a car seat is an incredibly straightforward manner, although there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Only a select handful of states have recycling options for car seats. This might severely limit your options when it comes to actually recycling the seat, as you can’t really dispose of it if your state doesn’t support the movement. Currently, 14 states offer recycling programs, and these states are as follows:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
If you live in one of these states, you will need to figure out where the nearest city that supports car seat recycling is. While this might take a bit of time to complete, it will be well worth it to know that you are doing the environment good and keeping unnecessary junk out of landfills. If your state has one of these programs, all you have to do is take the car seat to a recycling center and it will be taken care of for you.
Something else to consider is that there are some programs such as Baby Earth Renew that handle the recycling of car seats and other baby products, even if your state is one that doesn’t have a specific car seat recycling program. With enough research, you will surely be able to find a way to recycle your old car seat.
Even if you cannot find a specific place or person to get the job done for you, you can try to recycle as much of the seat as you can. This might take some time and effort, but in the end, being able to protect landfills from unnecessary junk is something that you can be proud to take part in. In order to do this, you will need scissors and a Phillips-head screwdriver.
First things first, you will need to cut away the fabric, foam padding, and harness straps from the seat. You can usually discard all of these. Essentially, you will want to get down to the skeleton of the car seat. Once you are there, take your screwdriver and remove as much metal as you can from what remains of the car seat. Be careful not to injure yourself in the process, and you will be fine. After this is done, you need to mark any remaining plastic as either “safe” or “expired,” depending on the condition of the plastic itself. You can now safely and properly recycle the plastic body of the seat and the metal pieces of the car seat.