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Give your toys a little extra lovin'

So it's Boxing Day. If you're a parent, chances are you're swimming in a sea of new toys. And last year's Christmas gifts are hanging out with dust bunnies under a bed. So what do you do with all those old toys (many of which are perfectly functional despite their position in the polls)? Easy. You send them back to Santa's workshop.
Well okay, not exactly Santa's workshop. But there are elves involved! I'm talking about Les Lutins Verts (the green elves). They're a wonderful Montreal non-profit that will take in old, used toys, repair them, clean 'em up and sell them for a fraction of the cost.
That way, they don't join 80% of Canada's solid waste in a landfill somewhere.


Here's what Les Lutins Verts do:
* They repair toys
* They wash toys in biodegradable and cruelty-free soap (how thoughtful is THAT?!)
* They reassemble toys
* They sell toys for at least 55% off the regular price.
If the toy is in less than mint condition, expect to pay just a few dollars for it.
* They provide special discounts for daycares who're interested in buying used toys.

In doing so they keep many of Montreal's toys out of the landfill and in children's lives (where they belong).
* They provide local employment
* They discourage reckless consumption
* They save good quality toys (like the ones you or your grandmother played with) for future generations to enjoy
* They teach adults and kids the value of stuff

What YOU can do:
* Donate old toys to the organization. As long as it's in reasonable shape (a few missing parts on a puzzle or board game needn't be an issue), non-toxic and not on any recall list, all's good.
* Buy presents and treats for your kids here.
(Les Lutins Verts will even allow you to make a reservation. So if you're looking for a special toy and they don't have it, you can place an order and as and when it comes in, they'll give you a shout.)

All toys are inspected and tested and comply with strict safety standards. And don't worry about recalled toys ended up on shelves. Les Lutins Verts receive all recall lists and pull toys accordingly.

Where to find Les Lutins Verts:
Rosemont/La Petite Patrie
6214 St-Hubert, Montréal (corner Bellechasse, in the Plaza St Hubert)
This branch doesn't have an attached workshop, but does have a bigger selection of English board games.

421 Avenue Marien, Montréal-Est (between Ontario and St-Catherine)
Métro Honoré-Beaugrand

But a USED toy...really?
Sophie tells me that it's adults that usually have the strongest reservations about buying second hand toys. The kids don't care. As long as it's cool and it works, there doesn't seem to be a problem. Makes you wonder if mummy really DOES know best, doesn't it?

By the way, if you're ever in Ottawa, don't miss Boomerang Kids. It's a similar store with a huge selection of very cool stuff for kids.

And now it's YOUR TURN. This week's question goes out to all you ex-kids. What's wrong with a toy that's had a little lovin'?
Leave me a comment or call our talkback line (514) 597-5626.

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