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Buy School Supplies Wisely

It’s August. That means the inevitable billboards and commercials of companies advertising their wares as many people return to (or begin) a new school year. Whether a university student or a kindergarten pupil, there will likely be a cost to buying shiny new supplies to prepare for the call of academia. So how can we reduce both the cost on the earth and our bank balances?

There are three things to consider, the trinity of the eco-world, ‘Reduce’, ‘Reuse’ and ‘Recycle’.

First of all, reduce. Do you really need all 8 binders and the deluxe 42 pack of pencils? Try buying one large binder and simply organise all the subjects with page dividers. During the following year, many people will fall prey to the common cold, and the pencil scourge. Also known as a sudden vanishing of simple stationary supplies. Perhaps it’s time to carry about a handy pencil case, and have them all in one location. In the long run, being organized is in fact much easier than having several trees worth of pencils at the bottom of your locker.

Next, reuse. Once the school year is done, have a shoebox full of calculators, binders, pens, and any other supplies that are reusable for the next year. If shopping for supplies is inevitable, try buying previously owned items (such as university textbooks, or dictionaries.), or things that can be used over again.

Right. You’ve dutifully reduced and reused as much as possible. Now all that’s left is to recycle what you can. Pencils, paper, and planners made from managed forests or recycled paper are great, as well anything else you need that you can find that is recycled. Don’t forget to recycle any old notebook paper as well. If no paper recycling services are available to you, it’s always possible to use any blank sides as scratch paper.

So that’s it. You are now armed with knowledge! Go forth without fear to your nearest stationary supply store and have a great year.

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