Wednesday , 21 March 2018

Thinking Green: A Greener Path Back To School

Okay, I have reviewed the back to school list for elementary and middle school students and my reaction is… Seriously? 

I challenge every parent to take the backpack that has been sitting unopened since the previous school year and turn it end on end to see what falls out.  Did you know that if your child’s backpack is made up of either cloth or plastic that it can be dry-cleaned at your local cleaners and will no longer smell like dirty socks or left over Pop Tarts? 

I know, I know.  Nothing is more exciting than brand new school supplies, but just take a look at the condition of your kid’s backpack and determine if they really gave a hoot about the newness of their supplies three weeks in the semester last year.

It seems I need to share a list of some steps you can take to recycle old school supplies.  You might even save enough money to contribute to the little tyke’s college fund. 

  1. Have a neighborhood clothes swap.  You know your fellow PTA members!  Take all the clothes your child has outgrown and get together with someone whose kid is a little shorter.  Make a block party out of the ultimate trade off on what would still be in style.  What’s left untraded will be happily received at The Samaritan Inn Thrift Store.  Hellooooooooo!
  2. #2 Pencils are made out of trees.   Used pencils are even more ergonomic and useful because they are smaller for small hands.  Is the eraser a little short?  For less than a buck, you can buy a package of 25 erasers that fit on those used pencils.   Tell your kids that they are saving a tree and contributing less carbon products to the landfills.  Chances are they will actually know what you mean!
  3. Take a look at those left over spiral notebooks.  Rip out the unused pages and voila, you have loose leaf notebook paper for taking notes and scrap paper.
  4. I hate buying ball point pens!  Talk about the most counter-environmental use of plastic.  Take a meeting with your local insurance agent and steal their pens.  Heck, small businesses all over town would love to have you visit and they already spend thousands buying cheap logo pens just for people like you.  It’s called trinkets and trash and believe me, they will appreciate the free advertising. It also keeps a lot of marketing companies in business.  This is good for the economy.  And get the highlighters from the really big spenders.
  5. Here’s  a no-brainer. Buy remanufactured ink cartridges for all of your printing needs.  (Uh, that would be a plug for Rapid Refill Ink, conveniently located in McKinney right by the Brookshire’s and behind McDonald’s at Virginia and 75!)
  6. I will give you one concession, and that is nothing beats a new box of crayons or map pencils.  Just take your old crayons and any markers and pencils to The Samaritan Inn and they will be happy to give these to their residents.
  7. Your plastic ruler can still measure accurately.  Please use it again.  It is PLASTIC!!!!!
  8. Lastly, please scan homework on save it to your computer.  That way if the dog eats it, your kid won’t have a decent excuse. 

Have a great new school year and feel good about being a little greener.  For more information on how you can do your part for the environment this school year, Google Eco-friendly school supplies.

About the Author

Trudy Whitney is a contributing writer to  She welcomes all comments, (there’s even a space for that below), and invites readers to ask questions about taking care of our planet.  It keeps her mind from going to potting soil!

Trudy and Bill Whitney are the owners of Rapid Refill Ink, an independently owned retail franchise that refills and remanufactures inkjet and laser/toner cartridges for office and home printers. In an effort to encourage recycling, empty cartridges are brought to the store that can be reused many times.  Sustainable and recycled products were utilized in the build out of the shop located in McKinney.  For more information call 972.548.9393 or email

Check Also

Sawyer Erickson

MHS’ Cranmore, Akins Earn 2015 Texas Counseling Association Outstanding Research Award

McKinney, Texas – “Please excuse the mess,” jokes McKinney High School Counselor Jeff Cranmore, gesturing ...

Montres Pas Cher Montres Pas Cher Imitacion de relojes Rolex baratos espa?a Rolex Replica Imitazione Di Orologi Maurice Lacroix Imitazione Di Orologi Longines