Sustainable School Days

Here are some tips for Keeping the new school year green:

1. Reuse! Green your school supplies.

  • Before buying new, take out your supplies from last year and see what is still usable.
  • Shop at your local thrift store for gently used backpacks, lunch boxes and other items that are on your school supplies list.
  • If you have a friend or relative that sews, ask them to help you stay green by reusing  outgrown or unwanted clothing and turning it into a cool cloth book bag, especially fun and big are  aloha shirts and dresses from thrift stores.
  • Purchase earth-friendly school supplies like *recycled paper, refillable pens and pencils, and durable supplies that will last for several years.

2. Recycle! Waste Free Lunches.

  • Use reusable containers, utensils, refillable bottles, and cloth napkins to pack a waste-free lunch of yummy local and/or organic products. Whole fruits come in their own “wrapper” and are healthier than processed snacks!

It’s estimated that the average school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That’s about 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school!

3. Renew! Get involved in greening your school!

  • Save energy, start a garden, or reduce and recycle waste on campus.
  • Kokua Hawaii offers a pdf of their favorite green fund raising ideas.

*Paper

If there’s one thing most of us have too much of in our lives, it’s paper ;-(

Most of the paper that goes into recycling bins and trash cans all around the country—has already been used….But that is just on one side!!

Get a few loose leaf binders and a three-hole punch (odds are you already have these items). Then go through your family’s mail, handouts from old classes, flyers and paper sheets from the office recycling bin .  All of this paper is 100% post-consumer recycled paper—the greenest you can get—and it won’t cost you a dime.

For recycled paper notebooks, punch holes in your paper and put them in your handy reusable binder. For recycled copy paper… don’t punch holes in it. Don’t like loose leaf notebooks? Check out these instructions for making cool recycled cereal box notebooks.

The holidays are coming before you know it!!! A few quick ideas..

Ask your family for used envelopes, especially those that came from bills and Credit card companies,  the inside of the envelope is a jazzy pattern. Start saving now to use for Christmas gift tags, scrap books, decorate a bottle or tin and even to wrap a small gift.

Save potato chip and Lyon’s coffee bags, slit down the side to open,  thoroughly clean (baking soda and vinegar are perfect to use) and keep for bright small gift wrappings or cut into strips and use in bags or boxes.

As Jack says and lives, Love Your Mother Earth! Surfers making a difference.

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