Target and Walmart Are Running Car Seat Recycling Events Throughout September

scyther5/iStock via Getty Images
scyther5/iStock via Getty Images

Though people hardly go through as many car seats as they do cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans, the bulky backseat items are still worth recyclingTo make it easier, Walmart and Target are celebrating National Baby Safety Month this September with car seat recycling events across the country.

As WFMY News 2 reports, you can bring your car seats to Guest Services at Target between September 3 and September 13 in exchange for 20 percent off a new car seat, stroller, or other baby gear. That coupon is only valid through September 14, so you might want to go in with some idea of what you’ll buy. Since Waste Management will recycle the car seats rather than reuse them, Target’s not picky about what it’ll accept—bring infant seats, convertible seats, bases, harness or booster seats, and even damaged or expired ones. According to their website, Target has recycled about 500,000 car seats since launching the program in 2016.

Walmart, on the other hand, is new to the car seat recycling game. The superstore has partnered with TerraCycle, a waste management company that focuses on collecting difficult-to-recycle items. They’ll host their program at almost 4000 Walmart stores nationwide from September 16 to September 30, and all participants will be rewarded with a $30 Walmart gift card (though each household can only redeem two gift cards, and booster seats aren’t eligible).

“We wanted to use our size and scale to create an event that offered unprecedented access to trade in an outgrown car seat for a gift card—perfect for using on your baby’s next car seat,” Walmart Baby vice president Melody Richards said in the press release. According to TerraCycle CEO and founder Tom Szaky, they expect to recycle the plastic equivalent of about 35 million water bottles.

Wondering about what other random items you probably didn’t know you could recycle? Dentures and dirty diapers are just two items on the list.

[h/t WFMY News 2]

Watch: Rare ‘Ice Volcanoes’ Are Erupting on a Michigan Beach

ehrlif, iStock via Getty Images
ehrlif, iStock via Getty Images

Winter weather leads to all sorts of strange phenomena, from thundersnow to ice tsunamis. But these "ice volcanoes" recently documented on the shores of Lake Michigan are spectacular enough to impress even lifelong veterans of Great Lakes winters.

As News 18 reports, the Grand Rapids, Michigan, department of the National Weather Service shared images of the icy eruptions to its Facebook and Twitter pages on Sunday, February 16. They show geysers of water bursting forth from the tops of snowy mounds on Oval Beach. The scene looks like a bizarre version of a volcano spewing lava, but it's actually the natural result of the lake's tides.

CW50 Detroit reports no one is completely sure how these ice volcanoes form. But Live Science says ice shelves along the coast stop the waves of Lake Michigan from reaching the shore. As the tides move under the ice sheet, pressure builds, and with nowhere else to go, water breaks the ice and spurts through the opening. The water from each eruption freezes when it settles on the ice above the surface, and the ice layers build upon each other to form a cone shape. This is similar to how real volcanoes form, only instead of layers of water freezing into ice, it's molten lava hardening into rock.

There's no seismic activity going on when these ice volcanoes erupt: It's simply the lake's natural tide persisting in spite of freezing temperatures. But, like real volcanoes, they can be dangerous. The ice mounds are hollow and more fragile than the surrounding ice, so onlookers should appreciate them from afar. You can view the phenomenon from the safety of your home by watching the video below.

[h/t News 18]

These Eco-Friendly Bags Are Organic and Break Down in 18 Months or Less

A-Zero
A-Zero

If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of single-use plastics in your life, then reach for these fully compostable organic bags.

The A-Zero bags (which are available on Kickstarter here) may look a lot like their plastic counterparts, but they’re actually made from vegetable starch. According to the campaign, these totes are 100 percent organic, are harmless to nature, and can break down in a matter of 18 months—unlike plastic bags, which take hundreds of years. Each bag also features unique designs created by different artists from all over the world.

When it comes to sizes, you have a few different options. The smallest bag, ideal for snacks and sandwiches, is leak-proof and freezer-friendly, and can even be used in the microwave. A-Zero also makes leak-proof trash bags, grocery bags that can hold up to 18 pounds of food, and a refillable bag dispenser that can hold 20 or more grocery bags and can clip onto a backpack or purse.

You might be thinking that you already have a reusable tote at home, but unfortunately, these also have a detrimental effects on the environment. A 2011 British government study [PDF] estimated that with all the water and energy it takes to create a cotton bag, each one has a carbon footprint of 598.6 pounds of CO2, compared to a plastic bag’s 3.48 pounds.

With $22,522 raised, A-Zero bags already surpassed its original $8000 goal. But you can still help bring the project to life and get your own eco-friendly bags by heading here. Pledge tiers start at $29, and the campaign will be live until April 11.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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