Education

Go back to school green: Top 10 waste reduction and recycling tips

Students, parents and teachers can all make a difference in reducing waste at school. By practicing the "3 Rs" of waste reduction — reduce, reuse, and recycle — we can all do our part.

1. Before starting a new school year, sort through your old materials. Many of last year's supplies can be reused. Students, parents and teachers can all make a difference in reducing waste at school. By practicing the "3 Rs" of waste reduction — reduce, reuse, and recycle — we can all do our part.

1. Before starting a new school year, sort through your old materials. Many of last year's supplies can be reused.

2. Recycle unwanted papers and reuse your old folders and binders. Paper that had only one side written on it can be reused.

3. Make a list before you shop for school supplies, it will help you remember what you wanted to purchase and limit impulse buying.

4. Buy smart! Purchase supplies made from recycled products, such aspencils made from old blue jeans; binders made from old shipping boxes, notebooks with post-consumer paper content. You can also buy reusable items like refillable pens and rechargeable batteries.

5. Buy used goods from resale shops. It's an inexpensive way to get assorted merchandise, and retro fashions are always coming back into style.

6. Cover your textbooks with cut-up grocery or shopping bags helps reduce waste and keeps your books in good condition. Be creative to give your covers unique and fun designs.

7. Pack a no-waste lunch, use a reusable containers instead of food storage bags. Use a thermos or water bottle, instead of juice boxes.

8. If you buy lunch, take only what you need: one napkin, one ketchup packet, etc.

9. Remember to recycle your cans, bottles and papers at school and at home.

10. Pass it on! Share the "buy smart" message with your family, friends and schoolmates. Volunteer for, or start, an environmental club or recycling project in your school.

September 7, 2004
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