School Locker Cleanout
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 were 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 organization that saves them for those who might need them next school year.
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 crayons (summer project anyone?).
· Binders – If you invested in some sturdy binders in the fall, you definitely want these to come back home for next year.
· Usable electronics – electronics make up a growing segment of our waste stream. Although there are many places to recycling 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 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.
Recycling is also an option for some school supplies. Empty glue bottles and sticks, watercolor boxes (with the paint removed) can be recycled. You can also recycle notebook paper (no spiral wires, please), construction paper, copy paper, index cards, poster board, and soft-backed books.