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This is a sponsored post in partnership with Tom’s of Maine.

Want a great way to save money and recycle at the same time? It’s around this time of year when the weather gets warmer that people get the itch to purge unwanted items from their home. There’s a lot of waste in this world so the question becomes, what to do with it? Swap with your friends!  Kids clothing or toys…  they are all fun!

To help with this problem and to prevent additional waste from ending up in landfills, natural personal care brand Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle®, a recycling leader, have teamed up to launch the #LessWasteChallenge toy recycling program.   I love it because it teaches kids to recycle and help the environment—one of those teachable moments that every parent can relate too.  I always want my kids to learn those lessons.

So, you can do one of two things.
1- Host a Toy Swap
2- Donate your used or broken toys (ship them for free) to TerraCycle®



1). How to host a TOY SWAP:

A toy swap is a great way to get rid of your unwanted toys and bring in new toys, book and games that your kids will be excited to use!
  how to host a toy swap

Are you ready to get started?

1- FIND A GROUP.  Find a group that you would want to hold a swap with (Mops, Bible Group, Church, local friends, neighbors…).

2- GET VOLUNTEERS: You may want to get a volunteer to help you with this and then reward them by letting them shop 10 minutes before the others get started).

3- PICK A DATE: Pick a date & send out your invites.  You can’t please everyone, so just pick a night that works for you and stick to it.

4- MAKE RULES:  (anything broken or too used goes to TerraCycle.)

5- Get tickets to pass out (or make your own)- one per toy.  Ex: If you bring 10 toys, you get 10 tickets.  One ticket per toy.   You might want to set the tickets up by price.  ($10 & under has a red sticker on it.   $10-40 has blue, $40 & up has green… whatever you decide).

6- Display the toys by price or by age (infant, preschool, grade school).

7- Remind everyone that games and books count, too!  I know that my kids would be the most excited to get a great chapter book or a new Leapster or Wii game.

EXTRAS:  (You could even have everyone bring some of their recycled gift bags for you to use, if you plan on “gifting” these to your children. 

I would do a “no kids allowed” policy because it will be too hard to keep the toys in order if you have kids there.

Remind everyone to bring grocery bags to take their toys home!  (You may want everyone to bring an easy snack or drink, too).

Donate the left-over toys to a local charity.  We have a lot of charities that will pick up your toys or clothing right from your home.  It is so convenient with kids!

Have a great time!


A woman and a child looking at toys in a laundry basket.

Instead of throwing them away, turn them into a new bench for a playground!  As I mentioned above, Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle have joined forces to create a toy recycling program.  It creates less waste and teaches recycling to our kids.   Get the whole family involved!

1. Go through your toys.

2. Make a pile of “toy swap” and a pile of “TerraCycle”

3-Download a free shipping label at to mail in your broken toys to TerraCycle.

4- Fill up your box with up to 10 pounds of toys (broken toys are great!).

5- Seal the box, attach the free label and ship!  Don’t let your toys become the millions of tons of waste in the United States that fills our landfills.

We completed the #LessWaste Challenge in our house and it was a great feeling! Now… I am challenging you and your family to complete the #LessWasteChallenge, too.

Ps- when you are ready to do more, this post might help you get started. A woman leaning on a kitchen counter with clutter around her as she holds her head in her hands. :

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Hi Becky! Thank you so much for this fanatic way to donate toys without spending a penny and having a BUNCH of fun in the process!