Well it is back to school shopping time so let’s talk about saving some green (a.k.a. cash) and going green with the 3-Rs—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reusing school supplies from last year will reduce the amount of items you need to purchase and decrease your environmental impact. Look around the house, in your book bag, and under the car seats for pencils, pens, and partly used spiral notebooks.
After you have gathered up last year’s left over school supplies it is now time to go shopping! Use your environmental consumer super power to purchase recycled versions of items you still need. There are lots of choices to “make a statement” with your green school supplies purchases. Purchase brands with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Become an instant Eco Fashionista! Recycled purses and bags made from juice boxes, seatbelts, magazines, newspapers, and more. My favorite is recycled paper with flower seeds imbedded in it for those special notes. I also stop in at my local zoo’s gift shop to get a Poo Paper fix. It is paper made from elephant (or other animals) manure; no it doesn’t smell, but it does make a great conversation starter.
Make textbook covers from recycled paper grocery sacks, crayons and markers or an old T-shirt.
Retro is in! Stop by your local gently used store to buy a new look and donate stuff from your closet that no longer fits your style or your body. Purchasing gently used clothing is a huge way to decrease your ecological footprint.
If you take snacks or your lunch to school, remember to purchase regular- sized bags and then put what you need for the day into a reusable container. With snack-sized bags you pay more for smaller portions AND the extra packaging creates more waste
If you drive, start a carpool! It will not only save some cash but you and your friends can get a head start on “whatz up!” gossip before arriving at school.
Denise Scribner has been teaching about environmental issues for over 35 years. For her innovative approaches to teaching to help her students become environmentally aware citizens, she won the 2012 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Her high school was also one of the first 78 schools across the USA to be named a Green Ribbon School in 2012.