DNR Offers Back-To-School Tips On Reducing Waste

By KBJR News 1

DNR Offers Back-To-School Tips On Reducing Waste

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

August has arrived, which for many families means back-to-school shopping or a move to a new city or apartment.

Although shopping for new school supplies and packing up an old home can both leave you with extra waste, state recycling specialists say a little planning can help people reduce, reuse and recycle the extra things they and their family no longer need and make your city and environment a greener place.

To assist people in shopping or moving, Department of Natural Resources recycling specialists have put together tips on reducing waste and finding recycling and reuse options.

“We know it’s a busy time for students and their families,” said DNR Recycling Coordinator Cynthia Moore. “But with just a little planning, you can reduce waste and save money.”

Back-to-school suggestions include:

Reuse paper, folders, backpacks and calculators when you can. If purchasing new supplies, look for those made from recycled content, and those that use minimal packaging.

Use reusable food and beverage containers for school lunches.
Donate or recycle electronics, clothes, and other supplies that are still in good, usable condition.

Talk to your children about the importance of waste reduction and recycling, and to their teachers about teaching and using recycling principles in the classroom. For potential recycling activities, see the EEK! -- Environmental Education for Kids! pages of the DNR Web site.
Moving suggestions include:

Develop a plan to pack and organize what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Approaching moving with a plan will give you more time to think about what to throw away, what to reuse and what to recycle.

Reuse boxes, cloth bags or plastic containers from move to move and use reusable or recyclable materials (including newspaper, T-shirts and others) to package fragile items.

Reuse or dispose of hazardous materials in a way that protects your health, and the health of your home and environment.

Donate or recycle old electronics, furniture, and other household items.

More tips and links to more information are available on the Back-to-School Waste Reduction Tips and Green Moving Tips pages of the DNR Web site.