I want to hit “pause” on my almost-4-year-old son for many reasons. I just love the stage where he is right now, so cuddly and funny and jokey. I already look back on his baby photos and wonder what happened to that little guy. And, oh my goodness, how can it be time to upgrade his car seat to a booster already?
Lately I’ve been researching boosters and wincing at the prices, wondering how I’m going to wedge a new expense in the family budget.
Almost as if by magic, I found this exciting news from Target: In honor of Earth month, Target stores across the country are holding a car seat trade-in event. They’re helping folks recycle their old car seats while saving money on the necessary new ones. This sounded like the perfect way to get rid of the old, faded infant seat that has been gathering dust in the garage.
Why is it important to recycle your car seat? If you have anything older than six years, it’s probably expired or might not meet current regulations. A lot of car seats can’t be recycled through curbside programs. And car seats that have been in accidents should be replaced immediately. But you don’t want them going to a landfill, right?
Here’s what you have to do:
Between April 22 and May 5, bring any unwanted car seat to your local Target. It can be any car seat — even if it’s 15 years old, even if you didn’t buy it from Target, even if you bought it from a sketchy guy named Chet on Craigslist. (Um, especially if you bought it from a sketchy guy named Chet on Craigslist.)
• Receive a coupon for 20-percent off a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, travel system, or stroller. This is good for any in store or online purchases. (I’ve scoured the terms and conditions, and I didn’t see any off-limit brands. The sky’s the limit!)
• When you go to the store, there should be a big drop-off box in the customer service area, and a Target employee will will give you a coupon in exchange for your car seat.
(Note: The first Target I visited this morning said they were participating in the program, but they hadn’t received their coupons yet. I immediately went to another store, and they had the coupons. So maybe call ahead first just to be sure.)
• You will receive one coupon per seat dropped off.
• DEADLINE: The coupon is eligible through May 19, 2018.
The old car seats are recycled through Waste Management and are used to create new grocery carts, plastic buckets, and construction materials. Target has a little bit more info on that, if you’re interested. It’s a pretty big deal. Since launching the program in 2016, Target has recycled more than 176,000 car seats!
This is a win-win-win for me. Because of this program, I can get rid of the old infant seat that cluttering my garage, I know it’ll be used for something instead of sitting in a garbage heap, and the discount takes away some of the sting in buying a new product.
So I guess my son is allowed to grow up just a little more. And then I’ll hit “pause.”