Thousands of Bay Area families will play their way to a smaller toy footprint this Earth Day, thanks to TOYCYCLE, a new program that aims to help families save money and reduce waste by connecting them locally to give and get free, used toys and games to and from other families in their own neighborhoods.
Toys made with plastic account for 90% of the toy market and most of them are non-recyclable, winding up in our landfills and eventually making their way to our oceans. TOYCYCLE is committed to helping people reuse toys to reduce plastic waste in our world.
Rather than throwing old toys in the trash, TOYCYCLE members simply post their gently-loved items on the TOYCYCLE app. Everything from blocks and stuffed animals to construction sets, dolls, musical instruments, puzzles, games, and more can be easily uploaded – posts include a photo of the item, title, short description, and appropriate age range as well as a convenient pick up time. Interested parties search the posts for toys their kids might love and contact the donor to coordinate pick-up.
Sharing used toys with other families isn’t just good for the environment – it’s also great for the pocket book! According to recent data from the Toy Industry Association, parents and gift givers spent $27B on toys in 2017. With TOYCYCLE, families can “shop” the app for free items and save their money for other purchases.
On April 22, 2019, an estimated billion people from 192 countries will take part in the “largest civic-focused day of action in the world.” Why not join in the Earth Day celebration by sharing your used toys and games.
Says TOYCYCLE CEO Rhonda Collins, “Helping their children clean out their closets, identify toys and games they no longer need, and share them with others is a wonderful way for families to emphasize the importance of recycling to their children. There is no reason for perfectly good toys to wind up in the landfill or ocean when other families can enjoy them for years to come.”
TOYCYCLE groups are small geographic areas. Each group is affiliated with surrounding groups so you can connect with more families if you chose. To connect with a broader group of families, when you create your user settings, select Receive Notifications From Nearby Groups.
TOYCYCLE works within a user’s local community and allows families to give, get, or exchange free used games and toys. When a user is ready to pass something on that their child has outgrown (or has simply tired of), they post the offer online to their local group. Arrangements are made to pick up or exchange, which should be easy given the fact that the groups will remain relatively small, geographically speaking. So, no shipping, no packaging, no payments—sounds sustainable to us!
No TOYCYCLE group near you that you can access, and don’t want to offer to create one in your town? Here are other things to do with your old toys!