Supplies are important for the function of an office or classroom. Taking steps to make sure the right choices of products are being made, is crucial for the planet. Even hard-to-recycle items (like used pens and highlighters) can be properly recycled at the right outlet. Take a look at Terracycle!
- We use about 35% of landfill space for paper, even though paper can be easily recycled or composted.
- Try to go paperless and always use both sides of a blank page.
- Buy paper with the highest percentage of PCW (post consumer waste), which means material that was recycled after use.
- Regular paper production often uses chlorine to bleach the paper which is the most water intensive step of paper making, and emits many toxins including dioxin. Look for PCF (Processed Chlorine Free) or TCF (Totally Chlorine Free).
- Remember, paper can be made with other products such as:
- Sugarcane pulp (bagasse)
- And even elephant poo (Get creative and see what you can come up with!)
- Look for commercial printers that use soy ink which is easier to recycle, and less toxic.
- Look for "take back" programs for sending used cartridges back to the manufacturer.
- Try to purchase for longevity, and Low-Energy printing.
- Look for pencils made with recycled materials.
- Have fun with it and look into pencils with a seed at the end that you plant after the life of the pencil.
- Look for refillable pencils and pens when possible.
- Stop purchasing disposable plastic highlighters and switch to highlighter pencils that are biodegradable, or refillable highlighters.
- Purchase recycled rubber erasers to cut back on virgin materials.
- Plant-based glue is a much better option against toxicity. Also look for glue made with pre-consumer recycled plastic.
- Beeswax crayons are not only made free from petroleum-based waxes, but they smell great!
- Look for eco-friendly colored pencils made with biodegradable, non-toxic, and sustainably sourced materials.
- Consider purchasing a bamboo ruler.
- Scissors can also be purchased with biodegradable corn plastic for the handles, eliminating virgin plastic.