School Supply Reuse

Posted by: Mary Kate Ranii on May 31, 2016

With the school year coming to a close, students everywhere will be bringing home leftover or unused school supplies. These items range from crayons for the youngest students to notebooks for the oldest. Fortunately most of this material can be reused, repurposed, repaired or recycled. The bad news is, the majority of people do not choose to reuse back-to-school material and opt to continue purchasing new material thus generating more waste.

Paper accounts for approximately 25% of the waste in landfills. Much of the paper used today is in offices and schools, so it is important for students to practice minimizing their paper waste and carry these habits into their adult careers. Any paper that is unused should be kept for future use. You can easily combine leftover notebook paper from partially used notebooks into three ring binders. Any paper that has been used on only one side can easily be turned into a scratch pad- large or small- using butterfly clips. Only after maximizing the usage of your paper, should you recycle it!

Coloring supplies can be turned into new and exciting art mediums. Crayons can always be reused or even donated to charities, but you can also melt them creating do-it-yourself rainbow crayons or new and exciting colors. Besides melting for reuse, crayons can be used in countless other DIY projects such as homemade candles or even lipstick! Dried out markers can be soak in jars with a small amount of water to create liquid water color paint.

Certain school supplies items go through some wear and tear throughout the school year that makes them seem undesirable for later reuse or incapable of later use. These items can quickly and easily be revamped for next school year. For example, replace lead and erasure plugs on your mechanical pencils to make them last forever! Binders and folders can easily be reinforced using everybody’s favorite adhesive- duct tape. Nowadays this product comes in all types of patterns that kids are sure to love.

The possibilities are almost endless for reusing leftover school supplies. There is no right or wrong way to reuse these materials just so long as you have maximized their usage before disposal. You can always be on the lookout for new ways to use leftover school supplies through popular sites like Pintrest. By reusing, repairing, repurposing, and recycling you are saving time, money, and of course, the earth’s resources!

Categories: Sustainable Home