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It’s easier being green than you think at Tacoma swap featuring toys, clothes and other kinds of kid stuff

Parents were keeping it green as they gathered Saturday for a toy, book and kids clothing swap at King’s Books in Tacoma.

Participants were asked to bring used but reuseable children’s items, and were invited to take home whatever they liked from other families’ contributions — for free.

“We brought some things that were well-loved but not longer in use,” said Allison Price, whose 5-year-old daughter, Ava, enjoyed some play time during the event.

Ava’s mom watched another family go home with one of her daughter’s old baby blankets, while she picked up some Superman and Spiderman shirts, along with some reading flashcards, for Ava.

There was an abundance of stuffed animals to choose from at the swap, including a stuffed Elmo and a plush Minnie Mouse toy, board and cloth books for the youngest beginning readers, two sturdy wooden high chairs and a baby swing.

Alycia Melendez, mom of 3-year-old Layla and 5-year-old Julius, donated a Sesame Street play kitchen that was too little for her kids. And she walked away from the swap with a Dora the Explorer kitchen that was just the right size.

“I like getting to socialize with other local moms, refreshing our toy stock and not having to spend any money,” Melendez said.

“We like the idea of doing an exchange that doesn’t involve money,” said Price. “We like the idea of reusing and recycling.”

Those are the kinds of ideas organizer Jennifer Boutell, a Tacoma mom who is part of Zero Waste Washington, is hoping to promote.

Saturday’s event attracted about 30 parents and children, Boutell said. She said leftover items would be donated to charity.

Boutell wants to promote a local “sharing economy” that includes swaps like the one held Satruday, as well as lending libraries that allow families to check out and share everything from outdoor gear to household tools.

She’s hosting a meeting for interested families at 6 p.m. Monday at Tully’s in downtown Tacoma.

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