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Going Back to School…Go Green!

2011 August 30

By Wendy Dew

Start off the new school year with a pledge to go green at school. There are many things you can do to go green:

  • Before starting a new school year, sort through the school supplies on-hand. Many things, like notebooks or pens and pencils, can be reused or recycled. You can share your used books and other school supplies with friends, relatives, or younger schoolchildren.
  • If you are purchasing new school supplies, look for items made out of recycled materials. Did you know you can get pencils made out of recycled jeans or money!
  • For school proms, dances, or other events, decorations and other supplies can be borrowed or rented. If you buy these supplies, try adopting a theme that can be used from year-to-year, so that you can reuse them.
  • Many schools reuse text books to save money and reduce waste. Covering your textbooks with cut-up grocery or shopping bags helps reduce waste and keeps your books in good condition.
  • If you buy lunch, take and use only what you need: one napkin, one ketchup packet, one salt packet, one pepper packet, one set of flatware. Remember to recycle your cans and bottles, and separate your waste if your school has separation bins!
  • Help your school start or improve an existing recycling/composting program. Several earlier blogs on this site have examples of schools that successfully went green!
  • Create school hall monitors that patrol for lights out in rooms not being used…you could even give your teachers report cards on how energy efficient they are!

To find out more about what you can do to go green while going back to school check out our healthy school resources.

About the author: Wendy Dew is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8 in Denver, Colorado.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    August 31, 2011

    When you buy new school supplies for your kids, look for items that well-made and durable so they can be used for more than one school year. The same goes for items you buy for your home office – if you buy well-made items, you won’t have to replace them as often. I’m a fan of refillable ink pens, especially.

  2. Randy permalink
    August 31, 2011

    Why don’t the schools use natural gas in their buses which is 50% cleaner than diesel or gas. Plus use natural gas engines in the Postal Services vehicles.
    Feel free to e-mail back your response. Thank you

  3. Henk permalink
    September 7, 2011

    The yellow schoolbus is one of those small things. I think a schoolbus with a (engine) has to be painted half green and half Yellow.

  4. rashid permalink
    December 27, 2011

    When you buy new school bus for your kids, look for items that well-made and durable so they can be used for more than one school year.

  5. PR 3 web directory permalink
    January 1, 2012

    we also looking school bus for giving to leas in school.

  6. May 28, 2012

    After you buy new classes shuttle for ones little ones, look for goods that well-made in addition to durable for them to provide intended for a couple of classes year.

  7. kmkrealestates permalink
    May 7, 2013

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