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A baby gazes happily. (Photo by Chayene Rafaela on Unsplash)

There are so many baby products we use that can be repurposed once they are no longer needed for caregiving duties like changing diapers or storing pumped milk. Before you consider repurposing some items, you should always opt to donate the items to a local daycare first or give them to a friend who could use them for their own children. But if donating the items isn’t an option for you, there are countless ways to make use of them to prevent them from ending up in landfills.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, nondurable goods — ones that generally last up to three years including, but not limited to, clothing, footwear, paper cups, plastic containers, non-packaging paper waste, and linens — comprise about 50 million tons of waste a year. Of course, it’s important to be honest about how consumer culture, industrialization, and inequitable waste management — overarching, global problems perpetuated by capitalist modes of production — exacerbate environmental issues on a scale much larger than our individual actions do. But, our collective individual actions add up! So if we have the opportunity, and the access and the means, to make small lifestyle changes that are sustainable, we should do that! …

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Two Black girls carry signs during a PCB landfill protest in Afton, North Carolina, September 1982. (Jerome Friar Photographic Collection and Related Materials (P0090), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

In the ongoing, global project of dismantling oppressive and violent structures it is important to make sense of one’s place in the world and within the myriad systems we all must navigate on a daily basis in order to participate in society.

To clarify, by “place” I mean the physical spaces we occupy — like the areas of colonized land on which we live, the geographical regions we call home, the built environments were travel in-between, and the various other places on Earth we can touch whether man-made or part of the natural world. I also mean the conceptual spaces we personify — like the racial and social categories that we claim and/or have imposed upon us, the identity-based groups we’ve assimilated or been born into, and the other socially-constructed features of the world that attempt to help us make meaning of our lives and experiences — as we navigate interlocking systems of oppression. …

Illustration of three Black hands reaching towards soil.
Illustration of three Black hands reaching towards soil.
Illustration: Chelsea Charles

My grandmother, Florestine “Flo” Wallace, taught me how to repurpose anything. …


Jesi Taylor Cruz

NYC-based philosophy graduate student whose work covers Genocide Studies, Repro + Enviro Justice, and Critical Race Theory. @moontwerk

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