With back to school time just around the corner, many children are starting to count down the precious days left of summer. As a former teacher of 14 years, this time of year was always very exciting for me – new students and new ideas for the coming year. I always liked to give my new class on the first day of school a few school supplies to make them feel special. You may be purchasing a few items for your children soon.
If so, consider recycled school supplies. They’re everywhere and many are about the same price as non-recycled items. You can find pencils, pens, printer paper, binders, spiral notebooks, post-its, and even highlighters made from recycled materials.
Of course, the most eco-friendly school supplies are the ones you recycle from your own home. Pick out nice looking pencils from your child’s collection and re-sharpen them. Give them one of your own pens (even as 5th graders, my students loved getting a “teacher’s pen”) to add to their supplies and put together a bunch of barely used crayons in different colors. Round out used erasers and draw a fancy design or your child’s initials on the top of them. Put them all together in a special case, preferably something you already have. After all, it’s all in the packaging!
UPDATE: Non-toxic Kids sent out an email this morning that Enviroblog has put together an excellent post on all things back to school – safe lunch boxes, backpacks, tips on speaking to your child’s teacher about a non-toxic classroom, and “greening” your child’s school.