Recycling car seats (by bike, of course)

Ah, the infant bucket seat. For many, an integral part of having a baby. I didn’t have my babies in hospitals, but I’ve heard one isn’t allowed to leave with the new baby until having shown the nurse an adequate car seat and demonstrating infant-insertion skills. Infant bucket seats are useful for many biking families, too. I haven’t been able to locate the article I read while pregnant with my second, but it was written by a bike racer who recounted riding with her baby in an infant car seat (these are the kind with the handle and that snap into a base that stays in the car) in a bike trailer. There wasn’t a lot in pixels about riding with babies four years ago, presumably because most states require all children (if not everyone) to wear a helmet while on a bicycle and helmets and car seats don’t fit together so well. Last summer I saw a bike trailer baby in a helmet and a car seat, but most families seem to opt for the car seat only. Totcycle’s Baby on a Bicycle post (birthed before my baby, but after I’d found the other article) contains a lot of useful information if you’re looking to bike with a baby.

Baby's first bike ride at 10 weeks

Baby’s first bike ride at 10 weeks

I got our infant car seat free from a neighborhood mom (she received two as gifts) and it came with three bases–one for mom, one for dad, one for nanny. Wowzer. So for two years those four bulky plastic hunks have been taking up a whole bike’s worth of space in our garage. We Seattleites are fortunate to have car seat recycling–see CoolMom’s Car Seat Recycling page for information and links to resources in other cities. Babies R Us routinely has car seat trade-in events, offering savings when you bring in old equipment (here’s the FAQ from one that just happened), but from my poking around online, it appears some locations recycle the car seats and some just throw them away.

Car seat cargo on the bike

I don’t feel quite as accomplished when I haul big things if I only have one (or gasp, none!) kid along for the ride, but the little guy and I loaded up his old car seat with a couple bungee cords and made the 4.5-mile uphill trek to Childish Things where they took all four pieces for a $5 donation and will transport it to Westside Baby for recycling.

Childish Things

Not at all related to car seat recycling, but do you ever find treasures in the bike lane? Bike Lane Puppy is a doberman Beanie Baby we found on Roosevelt Way a year ago–he’s the sock-clad puppy on the right in my front basket.

Puppies in the front, car seat in the panniers

Today’s score was a pink golf ball on Green Lake Drive.

Found: Flying Lady

3 thoughts on “Recycling car seats (by bike, of course)

  1. We haven’t found any objects that could be called toys, but I have reclaimed a bath hand towel that I found in the street. Since the bakfiets lives outside part of my normal load is a hand towel to wipe down whatever needs wiping down. Except for the 6 weeks of summer, of course.

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