The Recycling Centre receives a large amount of recyclables every year at the end of school. Our summer student has been working through it. I am always amazed at the amount of unused notebooks and other usable items that we receive.
It reminds me of the down side of recycling.
People may be more likely to get rid of things that are perfectly fine or a little used because it is being recycled and not just going to the landfill.
Recycling is the third R of being environmentally responsible. Reduce, reuse and recycle are in order of priority for making the most difference.
Everything we have comes from the Earth. To really make a difference, we need to use less (reduce) and reuse what we can. Recycling is last on the list.
It takes a decision to think differently about how we use stuff.
I know children like to have new things each fall for school. They can be encouraged to be kind to the earth by using old but still usable notebooks, binders, and pencil cases again. Subject titles written on notebook covers can be covered with label stickers and relabeled.
The good feelings from having new stuff can be replaced by good feelings about making a difference for the environment.
Adults can set the example by continuing to use little things like household items or big things like boats or campers which still work even though they may be older.
A fourth ‘R’ can be added: Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink.
The Recycling Centre is planning a ‘School Supplies Reuse Event’ in August. Everyone is invited help themselves to the school supplies we have collected.
Watch for more information.