The next best way to keep garbage out of the landfill and eliminate the need to continually make new stuff is to look for ways to reuse the items you already own. Before you recycle or dispose of anything, consider whether it has life left in it.
Repurpose it. Keep those old toys or clothes out of the trash by finding a new life for them; repair, refill, rebuild, or otherwise repurpose things instead of tossing them. Get creative by using old items (such as broken toys, torn clothing, or plastic bottles) as art supplies, or turn one of your old T-shirts into a child's art smock.
Turn trash into cash. If they are worth something, you can make a tidy profit by selling toys, clothes, and books at yard sales, consignment shops, or on websites like eBay or Craigslist. If those don't work, donate items to your local thrift store or use Freecyle to find someone in your area who might need them. One person's junk is another's treasure.
Get crafty. There are a lot of creative ways that you and your baby can turn ordinary garbage into fun crafts. A plastic water bottle or milk jug makes an excellent bird feeder, baby food jars convert easily into paper-weights or snow globes, and a toilet paper tube can be transformed into a pencil holder or a napkin ring. Check out Resourceful Schools Project to learn how to make your own paper or find ten crafts to make with a paper bag.
See double. Whether you are at home or at work, get in the habit of using both sides of a piece of paper. Kids' art projects, grocery lists, and messages can give paper a second life. At the store, bring along your own shopping bags; either the plastic bags from your last trip or, better yet, a reusable tote bag to minimize waste.
Packing peanuts. Call the Plastic Loose Fill Council at 1-800-828-2214 for a list of locations where you can drop off the plastic peanuts that protect shipped materials. Most UPS Store locations accept foam packaging peanuts for reuse.