Reduce, Reuse and Recycle School Supplies

May 22, 2017 9:10 AM ET
Press Release

PHOENIX, May 15, 2017 /3BL Media/ – Across the country, the school year is wrapping up for our children. Soon, alarm clocks, schedules and homework will be forgotten for a few months as kids enjoy the summer. And while many of them can’t wait to be on break, taking the time to properly go through their books, notes and school supplies cannot only save you some dough for next year, it can help the environment.

Students, teachers and parents can all make a difference in reducing waste at the end of the school year by practicing waste reduction and the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Here are some tips to pass along or use with your child when cleaning out their school supplies:

  • When cleaning out your backpack or locker, think about items that can be donated or reused for summer art projects.
  • Recycle old paper and save binders and folders for reuse next school year.
  • Many schools reuse text books to save money and reduce waste. Share your used books with friends or younger siblings.
  • Save items that can be reused like refillable pens and pencils, and rechargeable batteries for next school year.
  • Help your teacher clean out the classroom to ensure items no longer of use get donated to someone who can use them and other items get recycled.

Now, your children’s dried-out markers, empty glue sticks and other used items can have a second life with these recycling programs:

  • Staples, the office supply store, offers $2 in rewards per recycled ink cartridge.
  • Fill a bag with used writing utensils – pens, pencils, highlighters and Google “Writing Instruments Brigade” for a free shipping label. This initiative, which includes participation from PaperMate and Sharpie, turns old writing utensils into plastic storage bins.
  • Crayola’s ColorCycle program turns used markers into fuel for cars. Get a free shipping label to send your markers to a conversion facility.
  • Classrooms participating in Elmer’s Glue Crew can collect empty glue sticks and bottles throughout the year to send to a recycling center using free downloadable shipping labels. There, old glue holders are transformed into new products like plastic bins.

Keep these same thoughts in mind when you’re doing your spring cleaning around the house. Select the cleaning supplies that are best for the environment and then start to tackle your cleaning by sorting items into piles that can be recycled and what someone else can enjoy.

When we stop to think about how to properly dispose of our things, we’re doing our part to live more sustainable lives throughout the year. Learn more about how you can be more sustainable at