Saturday, December 4, 2021

A Clean Garage...and a Box of Legos!

Every season or two, it seems that garage of ours gets out of control and needs some major taming. Two weekends ago was our magical moment for that. Our weekends had kept us on the move most of the fall, so when our first one opened up right before Thanksgiving, and it was a nice one (weather-wise), it seemed like the time to jump. Additionally, my motivation in part was that if I wanted to get to our Christmas boxes for the holiday decorating, I needed to at least carve that path!

About 6 hours later....once most everything had come out to the yard and gotten put back in again, I finally wrapped it up. Always a daunting job (where I always feel a little bit like Indiana Jones facing the unknown), it always comes with major sense of triumph when accomplished.... not to mention a sore muscle or two!

A clean garage also always leaves me with a trunk-load of items to take to the Good Will and coats for the annual coat drive at school. This year did not disappoint. Additionally, it left me with a box of Legos.

Last year, we were able to gift our niece a giant box of our old Legos for Christmas. (My kids were major Lego kids). The perfect way to repurpose a great toy. But, even with that tub, there were still so many. We had sorted out the odd pieces, but given being both a Lego enthusiast and an environmentalist, I knew there had to be something else we could do with them. The major plan involved them sitting in my garage for a year. But the time had come for them to move beyond my garage.

Luckily, in addition to "reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle," I now can add "RePlay."

RePlay is one of the many sustainable elements of The Lego Company--namely, their brick recycling program.  I grabbed a mailing box that would accommodate my bricks, went to their website, and printed off a free mailing label (where they will cover the postage). After my Legos were all bundled up and postage affixed, I dropped it off at a FedEx store. Once the box o'bricks gets back to them, they are cleaned, then donated to classrooms and Boys & Girls Clubs. If the Legos don't satisfy their needs, they then are ground down to be made into new Legos. If that don't work (for whatever reason), they are can be reused as material for other things. This level of circular economy and returning items back to their creator company is the ultimate gift that keeps giving!

Standing in my doorway, looking into my clean garage is definitely a "feel good" experience. But equally warm and rewarding is knowing that my time was well spent packaging up my kids' well-loved Legos for someone else who would love them just as much. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving, and they are much better placed than in a recycle bin or landfill!!

To learn more about RePlay and Lego's Sustainability practices, visit their website.

Some stats about their donations so far: 

Photos from my camera and compiled into Lego Replay logo from replay lego recycling. Screencast statistics from on November 24, 2021.

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