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.