Why Does It Matter?
School’s out for summer…well…close enough… It is time for cleaning out desks and lockers and thinking about reducing school supply waste. Before your kiddos dump their folders, notebooks, glue, scissors, pencils, pens, and the like, talk with them about what could be REUSED.
Many of the supplies that you purchased in the fall still have some life left in them. Encourage your children to bring home those supplies or donate them to the school or other organizations that saves them for those who might need them next school year.
What Should You Do?
Here are some items that may have survived the year:
· Book bags – If you child has not outgrown this year’s bag and it’s still in good shape, use it again next year.
· Lunch bags/boxes – Wash and disinfect them and they will be as good as new.
· Notebooks with unused paper – Although you may not be able to use these for next school year, they are still useful for making grocery lists, practicing handwriting, writing notes, or drawing.
· Usable crayon, pens, pencils, and markers – You might be missing colors in the crayon box, and maybe your pencil erasers are chewed off, but they still have some life left in them. You can create a bucket of crayons, pencils, pens and markers (for home use). You can also take broken bits and pieces of crayons and make your own really cool rainbow .
· Binders – If you invested in some sturdy binders in the fall, these should have another year of use in them.
· Usable electronics – electronics make up a growing segment of our waste stream. Although there are many places to recycle them, there are also places to sell them back and make a little cash while reusing.
· Gym Shoes – It is likely that your child has outgrown this year’s shoes, but they might still be useful for someone else (especially if they were only used for gym class). Goodwill or local consignment shops are great places to bless someone else with your outgrown school clothes and shoes.
If you would prefer to not have these usable items come back home, or if you would like to donate your supplies to those who may need them, ask your school if they will have a collection for usable items. And if the answer is “no,” work to establish one yourself that the whole school can utilize!
Now that we’ve covered great ways to reuse left over school supplies, we’ll focus on which supplies can be recycled. We’ll be covering everything from glue sticks to broken crayons—and we’ll include information on local recycling options. Stay tuned!