With many schools starting this week, parents and students will be flocking to school supply aisles to stock up on last minute notebooks, pencils, markers and folders. Purchasing brand new school supplies each year is not only costly; it also generates a lot of waste! Many school supply items could be reused year to year, cutting down on waste and saving money.
Here are a few ways to make back to school a little more ‘green’:
- Reuse last year’s pencil bag/box; decorate it to make it unique!
- Have scissors, pens or pencils from last year? Reuse those rather than purchasing a new set.
- Did you only fill a few pages of last year’s notebooks? Rip out (and recycle) the used pages; reuse the notebook!
- Purchase plastic folders instead of paper; chances are, they will last longer and can be reused in the future.
- Purchase higher-quality school supplies; they may cost a little more, but will last longer and can be reused next year.
Between the classroom and the cafeteria, the average student produces 67 pounds of trash each year. Recycle old homework papers and try packing waste-less lunches to cut down on your student’s waste. Using reusable items in your student’s lunch decreasing both trash and the amount you spend on prepackaged items and plastic baggies.
Waste-less lunch tips:
- Purchase a reusable lunch bag instead of using paper bags.
- Use reusable Tupperware containers instead of plastic bags for snacks.
- Send a reusable water bottle instead of juice boxes.
These are just a few ways to go green this school year. Discuss other creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle with your student before going back to school.
About the author: Maureen Ray is a corporate communications intern at Rumpke.