Target Does It Again: Recycle Your Expired Car Seat and Get 20% Off

I have three children under the age of five. So, in addition not having not slept for the last give years of my life, I have also been playing a game of musical car seats. The shelves of my garage look like some kind of museum, dedicated to the car seats of our past.

Not knowing how much I would spend graduating my first from car seat to car seat as she grew , I started our collection with an infant carrier, along with two bases, one for each vehicle, and a matching stroller. By nine months, my daughter was too long for her infant career but still needed to be rear facing, so we threw down another $150 on a convertible car seat. Not long after, our second came around and we were shuffling around seats, trying to find the right combination that would not only be safe for our kids, but fit into our small car. And then, we got pregnant with our third and the whole shuffle started over again.

You get the point. The last five years have left us with an unnecessary number of car seats, two of which are expired and just hanging out in our garage until we can figure out a way to safely dispose of them.

I was beyond thrilled when I saw that Target is starting a Car Seat Trade-in Event, a program where they will give you 20 percent off a new car seat in exchange for your old models.

This program is basically one of the best things that has happened to moms multiple kids in car seats.

First of all, using expired car seats is so tempting. This is especially true if you can hit up a garage sale and find a seat that isn’t visibly damaged for a fraction of the cost. But it’s bad idea, manufacturers can’t guarantee the safety of a seat after their expiration date and that means you can’t be confident that an expired seat is going to keep your baby safe while you’re on the road. This program by Target gets expired seats out of cars, garage sales and secondhand shops.

Secondly, investing in a brand new seat is not a small purchase. Even the most affordable seats can cost around $100 and the seats with the highest safety ratings cost closer to $200. Being able to trade in an unused seat and get 20 percent off a newer model takes some of the sting out of the purchase, making it easier to take the leap and upgrade to the safer seat.

Lastly, it makes me so happy to hear that Target isn’t just getting expired seats off of the streets, they’re actually reusing them. They’re not using them as carseats, but will recycle the materials and turn them into other products. By working together with TerraCycle, Target predicts that they will be able to upcycle enough car seats to keep 700,000 pounds of car seat trash out of landfills.

So, you can bet I’ll be digging my expired seats out of garage and turning them in at Target soon. If you’re looking to do the same, don’t put if off. Target’s car seat trade in event just started this week and will be over April 30th. The coupon you earn for trading in your seats will be good through May 31st.