Back to School Lots of Waste-How do you deal?

Back to School means lots of waste – how do you deal?

August 5, 2010
| by itshiptobegreen

Back to school means notebook paper, notebooks, post it notes, pens and pencils, and printer cartridges that all has to go somewhere right?  How can you teach your children to use wisely and dispose of the used school supplies properly? Buying sustainable school products is also a wonderful way of teaching your children to be more Green.  Even with using sustainable products disposal is still an issue.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buy post consumer content or sustainable fiber paper.  Banana paper notebook paper and stationary is a great substitute for wood paper.  You can also buy 100% recycled paper for your printer and copier. Also, don’t forget to use both sides when possible and recycle when done.
  • If possible buy Green printer cartridges and if not you can recycle your used cartridge either by mail or  at a local store such as Best Buy.
  • Pencils and pens can also be purchased made from recycled or sustainable materials.
  • Post it notes now have recycled content and` you can purchase  100% recycled content.  This is a great way to Green, as post it notes are used in mass quantities.  And you can recycle them when done.
  • Notebooks can now be purchased that are made from post consumer content and fully recyclable.
  • For art supplies you an also buy sustainable paper  and non-toxic paint.  Especially for smaller children that put their fingers in the paint or mouth it is very important
  • When using printer paper choose the gray scale to use less ink.
  • Computers are great for filing electronically. Less paper and file folders to use.
  • File folders and hanging folders can also be purchased in post consumer content.
  • Highlighter pens are another school item that is toxic.  You can purchase highlighter pencils in eco-friendly lead instead of ink based. There are also ink highlighter pens that are non-toxic and Xylene-Free (non-toxic and non-flammable)
  • Students now have to have a flash drive usually for school.  You can also purchase these in sustainable materials such as bamboo.
  • Turn off computers, printer, calculators and lights when done to save energy
  • If buying a computer is on your list of school supplies, try to find the most energy efficient one. Also, some computers now come in eco friendly casing.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but not too bad once you learn what to look for, as most stores now carry some type of Eco friendly supplies.  Remember It’s Hip To Be Green even at school.  Check out our eco school supplies at