Now that school is over, you find yourself with a lot of material coming back from school. You had forgotten that they had brought so many at the beginning of the year, right? 😱
Some are barely used… 🤦 Before throwing everything in the trash or recycling, or storing everything in the 13 file, or in a souvenir box in the basement, here are some eco-friendly (and economical!) ideas for you help manage school materials taking into account your environmental values. 🌿
Take advantage of a rainy day to do some big end-of-year cleaning and get the kids involved! ☔ Because it's important to show them very early on the importance of the 3RVs. Little eco-friendly will become big! 🌱🌳
First R: Reduce ⬇️
For that, you have to get involved upstream. Did you know that the list of school items is approved by the EC of each school, most often shortly after the holidays? 🏫
By participating in the meetings, you will have your say on the 6 Canada notebooks requested for the math class, while each one will only have 6 pages used at the end of the line 📚, or on the boxes of tissues 🤧 shared in common beginning of the year whose reserve stays with the teacher at the end of the year...
You can also choose better quality items so that they last several years: pencil cases, sharpeners, rulers, duo-tang made of plastic rather than cardboard, sturdy binders, etc.
Second R: Reuse 🔄
Backpacks, pencils, erasers, satchels, duo-tangs, sharpeners, rulers can often be reused for over a year. Checks the condition of returned items, tests felt pens, removes 2-3 used sheets from a notebook for reuse, collects a few blank sheets from a notebook for drawing or homework, etc
The unicorn thermos is out of fashion for your big one, but it still keeps food warm? Offer it to a local support group, or to an organization. I'm sure it will make another little girl happy, and her parents on a limited budget! 💞
Third R: Recycle ♻️
Before throwing everything into recycling, make sure it won't be thrown away at the sorting centre. Choose the right materials to put in the bin, and put them in the right way.
For example, spiral bound notebooks can be recycled. 📒 But since there are 2 materials, remove the spiral before recycling. If the spiral is metal, it can be put in the bin. If it's plastic, it goes in the trash. If the notebook is simply stapled, like the Canada notebooks, don't worry: put everything directly in the bin.
For more such advice, review the "On vide sa casse" publications from Tricentris the coop on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile/100068775883151/search/?q=vide%20sa%20case
Used pencils, markers and pens can be recycled, but not in the bin. Many locations, such as Staples, have dedicated drop-off bins for recycling these items. Find out about the drop-off points in your area and drop off everything you can there.
And the V: Value ✌️
Maybe pencils that are too short are just waiting to be used for a work of art, or as a stake to identify carrots in the garden? Could the damaged plastic duotangs be used for a colored stained glass window? It's time to be creative! Who will have the best idea? 🙋♀️
And the rest?
Items that do not fall into any of the above categories will unfortunately have to be thrown in the trash. 🚮 There shouldn't be tons of them though. Take the time to see if some of these items could be avoided at source (goes back to first R) for next year. It's a good time to plan your back to school in green mode.
When you're ready to do the back-to-school shopping, pull out the materials you've collected and review the list. You will only have a few items to buy to complete. Eco-friendly and economical: we love it! 💚