Rochester woman opens first “Toy Library” to combat waste and promote community

Rochester woman opens toy library to promote community and sustainability.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A Rochester woman is looking to promote sustainability and community through children’s toys.

Pavitra Kumar is opening up the city’s first Toy Library. It works similarly to a regular library. Community members can come into the space with their kids and bring home toys for up to a month then they come back and check them back in.

“As a parent myself, I know that we bought a ton of toys, and we would keep going on these buying sprees to keep them engaged, because you want to make sure that they have everything learn and grow right,” she said

The toy library is called Nana Gogo Toybrary, a place both inspired and named after her kids.

“Our motto is “Nana to waste and Gogo to play” which totally ties in to let’s go this for the community, let’s do this for ourselves, let’s do this for the future of our kids,” she said

Its goal is to help combat waste, a mission the city of Rochester also promotes.

“What can we do to divert it from the waste stream and have waste be the very last option of what we’re doing with things,” Rochester Sustainability Coordinator Lauren Jensen said.

“We can help raise eco-conscious kids. They learn to share. They learn the responsibility of taking care of toys,” Kumar said.

Rochester leaders support places like the Nana Gogo Toybrary that reuse items, and have also introduced initiatives of their own to reduce waste.

“The city took one step a couple years ago with banning Styrofoam in the use of city facilities. A next step would be single-use plastics in general,” Jensen said.

Kumar’s goal is to introduce kids to new toys and help them learn to share with one another, all while keeping them out of our waste stream.

“They are all very gently used, like new toys that will circulate through many hands and hopefully never end up in a landfill or end up where they just really really need to,” Kumar said.

Kumar hopes to officially open the Nana Gogo Toybrary by mid to late summer.

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