This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Notebooks & Binders paper clips, choose items made from
more of these outlets. If these stores
Plastic is used in the manufacture recycled plastic or metals.
are too far out of the way for a fuel-
of many school supplies, includ- The Center for Health, Environ-
efficient trip, calling first or shopping
ing notebooks, binders, lunchboxes, ment & Justice has a Back-To-School
their online catalogs may help save
pencil boxes, rulers, plastic-coated PVC-Free School Supply Guide avail-
fuel costs. However, remember to
paperclips and scissors. Many of these able on request by emailing them at
recycle all extra packaging that mail
items incorporate PVC plastic. From, specifying the item in
order produces.
its manufacture to disposal, PVC emits the subject line. Or, download a copy
Remember that the three Rs for
toxic compounds. of the guide at TakeCareOfYourShare.
going back to school start at home, as
More than 20 million tons of com/pvcfree4school.pdf.
we reduce our current spending by
plastic end up in our landfills each
reusing and recycling what we already
year, where scientists estimate that it Easy Access
have on hand. Children can make a
will take hundreds of years to degrade. For eco-shopping convenience, most
game out of hunting down and col-
The University of Missouri reports that of the major office supply stores have
lecting usable pens and pencils lying
new biodegradable plastics are being done the homework for us, by creating
around the house. Get creative by
developed, although they’re not yet on their own line of environmentally safer
dressing up an old, hand-me-down
the market. products.
backpack for this year’s student, and
Binders are now available that are Staples, for example, lists nearly
add to the fun by having children swap
made from cardboard and 100 percent 3,000 products in its EcoEasy line;
their newly redecorated backpack with
recycled chipboard. After use, the OfficeMax has some 1,700 environ-
that of a close friend.
binder cover and rings can be sepa- mentally preferred products; and
Moving children away from a
rated and recycled. Office Depot offers a new Buy Green
throwaway mindset may be one of the
storefront area, displaying products of
most valuable environmental lessons
Backpacks “various shades of green.” Most school
you can teach them.
Better backpacks are made from natu- supplies, including recycled and sugar
ral fiber or nylon, rather than PVC. cane-based paper, recyclable binders
Betsy Franz, a freelance writer in
Soft-sided fabric lunch packs are a and pens, pencils and even bulletin
Melbourne, FL, specializes in environ-
good alternative to plastic. For other boards, made from recycled materials,
mental topics. Learn more at Natures-
items, such as scissors, rulers and will be available locally from one or
Pr i n t e d o n re c y c l e d Pa P e r t o Pr o t e c t t h e en v i r o n m e n t
August 2009 35
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