Friday, October 4, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your School Supplies!

Hey muffins! I know that the school year started last month, but my masters program has some quarter classes, which means I will be starting a few new classes in a week or so. 🤓 Because of this, I need more school supplies, and I was inspired to share my best tips for keeping your school supplies low/zero waste. In this series I have tackled everything from the laundry room to periods, so I hope this is helpful to all of you still in school!

green background with various colorful school supplies such as pencils, rulers, and paperclips, words say How to Zero Waste Your School Supplies across the middle
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~Use actual pencils: Mechanical pencils might be "easier" because you don't need to sharpen them, but they are made of plastic (and as you all know from my Plastic Free July posts plastic should be avoided!)... ✏️ Wooden pencils are so much better!

~Buy a refillable ink pen: If you go through a lot of pens, I suggest finding one that is refillable. This allows you to not throw away the pen each time it runs out of ink! This gorgeous bamboo pen is only $19 on Amazon, and it comes with an ink covertor to easily add ink (which is under $10 on Amazon as well!).

A picture of a bamboo pen that can be refilled with ink, making it a sustainable alternative to a normal pen

~Reuse old notebooks and folders: I have yet to take a class where I used a whole notebook in one semester, so I definitely suggest recycling the pages you have notes on and then reuse the rest of the notebook for a new class. The same goes for folders!

~Buy school supplies from the thrift store: As I mentioned in my Collective Thrift Haul, I recently purchased a binder for only $1. You can always find school supplies secondhand; make sure to also donate any unwanted school supplies at the end of the year!

~Utilize any paper that you can find!: My office recycles a bunch of perfectly good paper, so I like to take a stack home to use for school. 😊 Look for paper that you can take home as well!

~Avoid printing out assignments at all cost: Read articles online instead and take notes either on the computer or in your notebook (as writing down your notes helps you learn the material faster!).

~Rent your textbooks or buy the online version: When you buy a hard copy of a textbook, you most likely aren't going to ever read it again when the class is finished... And that is just wasteful! Renting is cheaper and allows other students to use the book after you. The same goes for an online version.

~Use your "big" school supplies (ex. backpack, lunchbox) until they are totally un-usable: I used to buy a new backpack and lunchbox every year for school, and that is extremely wasteful. My current backpack and lunchbox have lasted me my whole undergrad and will definitely make it through my masters program as well! I have absolutely LOVED my High Sierra Swerve backpack, so I would definitely recommend it 🥰

A picture of a navy High Sierra Swerve backpack, which can last many years before it must be thrown away

~If you have to buy new, look out for products made with recycled materials!: I bought my planner from Walmart for only $8, and it is made of all recycled paper. Buying secondhand should always be the first option but this is a nice alternative.

How do you keep your school supplies sustainable? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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1 comment:

  1. These tips are wonderful and will really help a lot of people! I used to buy a new backpack every year when I was in school as well. Looking back, it was absolutely wasteful. It's amazing that you are pointing these things out and are committed to making a positive difference :)


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