For many, back-to-school days usually translate into a lot of shopping for supplies, and, therefore, a lot of money and waste. Why not skip the shopping lines by repurposing your trash for back-to-school treasure? Here are 4 easy recycling hacks for your back to school supply list that will not only help yourself or your student succeed in school but also help you move towards zero waste in your home.
1. Glass jar pencil holders. Need to organize a desk? Using any glass jar in your recycling bin; like the one from last night’s tomato sauce; can make a great pen, pencil, paintbrush holder. To remove any of the sticky labels on your jars, simply soak your jars in water until the paper comes off easily, and apply some peanut butter on stubborn, sticky glue. The peanut butter is a toxic-free alternative that will help clean your jars. The jars are also easy to decorate with mod-podge, paper, and paint.
2. Milk jug to-go container. Pull that milk jug out of your recycling and turn it into a great lunch box! This DIY tutorial at Creme de la Craft is a great way to repurpose something that you already have in your home. The gallon-size milk jugs are perfect for storing sandwiches while keeping them relatively safe from being squished in a backpack. In addition, these containers can be turned into an all-purpose supply box, where you can store small office supplies (paper clips, rubber bands, erasers, etc.), or even some cellphone charging cords and headphones.
3. DIY Simple Unlined Notebook: If you have a lot of printed, one-sided sheets in your recycling bin, why not turn them into simple notebooks? Simply staple them together, hole-punch them into a binder, or bind them with spare yarn or string. For students who need or want lined paper, there are online templates to create your own wide or college-ruled notebook paper to print from home. You can decorate these notebooks using leftover cardstock or thin cardboard (from cereal boxes, for example).
4. Spare fabric, no-stitch pencil pouch. When you need something that can be easily packed and takes up minimal space, this simple roll will store your pens, pencils, markers, and more. Though this tutorial uses vinyl, you can take any thick piece of fabric or canvas, to create the same thing.
Not only do you get some great supplies from these hacks, but all these do-it-yourself tutorials hacks also make a great lesson in zero waste for students. For more zero waste ideas, follow our blog.