Diverting Baby Gear From the Landfill

April 22, 2021 • News

Creating positive environmental impact by collecting and redistributing gently used baby gear is an important aspect of the work we are doing, and one that we are extremely passionate about. Every year, we divert tens of thousands of pounds of potential waste from ending up in the Lower Mainland’s landfill sites. Not only is this — all by itself — a truly incredible reason to set aside your baby items to donate, in addition, we are also creating access to these items for families who do not have the resources to purchase them themselves. Though for safety and supply reasons we may periodically purchase new baby gear items or have them donated, we do our very best to collect and redistribute as many gently used essential items as we can. Because of the support of our community — people who personally donate or collect donations from others at their homes, school, and community organizations — we are so thankful that we are able to do this and operate in an environmentally responsible way.

It can take a lot to set up your home to welcome a baby there is so much to consider. Mobility is important for access to fresh air for walks and trips to the park, as well as for completing day to day errands — so there’s a stroller, diaper bag, pack n’ play, and infant carrier. Setting up the nursery with a safe place to sleep requires a bassinet or crib, bedding, sleep sack, and maybe a sound machine (plus a few dozen other accessories and decor items!) Having everything ready to change and diaper Baby requires a change pad, diaper genie, and a potty seat later on. At first, it’s a nursing pillow and a breast pump or formula, but pretty soon it’s a high chair, dishes, and bibs. To bathe your baby, you need a bathtub and towels but to bathe yourself, you need a bouncy seat for Baby. Add an exersaucer, playmat, toys, clothing, and safety items and you’re set. Maybe. Many families spend thousands of dollars ensuring they have just the right baby items to fit their lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, and needs, only to part with it all in a few short years after their little ones grow into toddlers and young children. To make home and life functional for a relatively short period of time, we invest considerably to completely transform our homes and load it up with baby gear.

We also know that there are families, many living minutes away from our homes, who have the same hopes and desires to care for their children as we do. However, because of various obstacles, and often several vulnerability factors, they are unable to do so.

In British Columbia, an average of one in five children is living in poverty. The highest incidence of this is for children under 1 year old as earnings of new mothers tends to drop in the year of childbirth and can take years to regain.* Being able to provide families with access to essential baby items, that would otherwise have cost them thousands of dollars to purchase new, provides them with significant stress and anxiety relief as well as allowing their financial resources to be directed towards housing, food, or other needs.

As an organization, we are able to extend our budget further because of gently used donated items and increase our impact by focusing on delivering quality programs as well as future enhancement and development. When gently used baby gear items are donated clean and in good condition, we are able to spend our time and energy focused on serving families better. We cannot overstate enough how much we appreciate thoughtfully prepared donation items and the impact it makes to our team, and by extension, the families we support! We are committed to ensuring that every family throughout the Lower Mainland has access to the essential baby items needed to safely care for their babies. To do this, we are intentional about remaining forward thinking so we can develop new solutions to provide greater impact to the families we support and create pathways of access to others who may not yet have connected with us. Through the support of a caring and connected community, we strive to maintain our supply of donated items needed by families and only purchase new items as needed for safety reasons — which we think is pretty amazing.

Can you help us? Here’s a quick outline of how this might look: 

  • If you have children or grandchildren, check out our list of accepted items and set them aside. When you’re ready, bring them in and ensure that they are clean and in good, working order so that they will serve the next family well and last through one or more children’s use. 
    • If they have textile components, please take the time to remove and launder them! 
    • If it is a hard item, give it a wipe down (and be sure to get into all those tiny spaces where food and spit up may be hiding). 
    • If you are donating an item that has straps (i.e. – stroller, high chair, swing, etc.), please ensure that all 5 straps are in place and working before coming to drop off!
    • If your item is more than 5 years old, please email us at donategear@babygoround.ca to enquire about the suitability for donation, as we want to ensure that every item can serve their next family safely and with durability. 
    • If you are ever uncertain if your item is in good condition for donation, you are always welcome to email us at donategear@babygoround.ca and we would be happy to help.
  • Reach out to friends, neighbours, and family to let them know about us so they can learn more about how to donate.
  • Collect items in your community! You can do this by reaching out to parent groups on social media or reaching out to your child’s preschool or any other community based group. For more information on this, email hello@babygoround.ca

*Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016

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