A car seat is one of the most important pieces of equipment you have to protect your children from harm on the roads. But the construction and disposal of these seats can be rough on the planet. One way to keep it green is to purchase or borrow a gently used car seat, but be careful here. A gently used car seat is a wonderful thing for the planet and the baby, but only if it comes from a trusted source. A used car seat that has been involved in a car accident may have suffered structural damage that weakened the integrity of the equipment. Only accept or purchase a used car seat from a close friend or family member who can assure you that the seat is accident-free.  

Recycling car seats is no easy task either. Compared to other recyclable materials, disassembling them can be complicated and time-consuming. Jennifer Carcich, a parent from Morristown, N.J., was frustrated with the lack of car seat recycling in her town. But rather than toss her used seat in the trash, she fought for a program in her town -- and she won. As part of the Morristown Moms and Tots' Recycling Committee, Carcich worked with the Town of Morristown to develop what will now be the first curbside car seat recycling program in New Jersey.

During the event, volunteers disassembled car seats for recycling and saved the straps for reuse at a local bag manufacturer. If you're looking to get a car seat recycling program going in your community, you may have to do a bit of the grunt work. Disassembling car seats does require a little work, but it’s worthwhile. Not only will you help keep unsafe seats from being used, but you’ll prevent reusable materials like plastic and metal from being landfilled.

Photo: massivev

Can I recycle a car seat?
Start a recycling program for car seats in your community.