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Plastic and vinyl supplies from big box stores are training wheels for raising humans who are disconnected from understanding how our everyday choices impact the environment.
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It's how to raise "consumers" rather than citizens.
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We need to model intelligent behavior when it comes to the products we choose. Children don't know any better (yet).
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BindersOurs have removable/replaceable/recyclable covers - nothing goes to landfill
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SpiralsWe don't offer any, because they're all landfill.
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3-Subject SpiralsIn place of spiral-bound subject notebooks, we recommend using:
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1/2" Binder (stiff paperboard cover)
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Binder Tab Dividers
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Binder Pockets
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Weekly PlannersBecause all others are spiral-bound, we had our own printed.
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100% Recycled + 100% Recyclable
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Planners can be dated or undated
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*Purchasing undated planners is least wasteful and will never "expire"
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Pencil TinsPlastic pencil boxes and nylon pouches are all landfill
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The aluminum tin is endlessly recyclable
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We added a 100% Wool Liner that keeps tin contents quiet (liner is compostable)
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Pencil ProductsAll pencils that we carry are sustainably forested cedar
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Unpainted so shavings can be composted
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Pencil SharpenersWe recommend mounting wall-mounts in every classroom - handheld plastic sharpeners break and will become garbage/landfill eventually
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Electric sharpeners wear out pretty quickly and become e-waste
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Dry EraseDisposable dry erase contributes TONS of plastic pollution to the environment
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We use (and love) both the Auspen and Stabilo - depends on the needs of the school
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Aupsen is refillable dry erase. Stabilo is wax pencil to be wiped off the board with a damp cloth
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Dry Erase ErasersAll on the market are polyester, so we designed one that is 100% Wool Felt and compostable
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MarkersWe don't believe in plastic marker recycling schemes - misleading and not sustainable
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Substitute colored pencils, wax peel markers + Stabilo wax markers
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Comp BooksWe talk schools into buying LESS of these because we see so many at the end of the school year that have 3/4 of the pages still blank.
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Filler PaperWe carry a BioBased brand that is 30% Sugarcane + 70%PCW
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PensWe are proposing that students be issued refillable stainless steel pens, and the school provides free refills. Student turns in an empty ink cartridge, and gets a free refill. We will take back all empties and give a discount on future refills
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We also propose a "pen drive" where every family sends in all of the pens they don't want (everyone has at least one drawer full), and that the students use those before purchasing any new pens.
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HighlightersBIG fans of using the Wax Peel Highlighters, or for younger kids, the yellow Stabilo. Both work perfectly to highlight text in bright yellow, so there is no need for plastic highlighters ever again
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ErasersOurs are natural rubber rather than plastic or latex
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Facial TissuesWe carry Tree-Free Tissues by World Centric
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Scissors/RulersCurious that these are repeatedly on back-to-school shopping lists - Where do they all go?
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We recommend that these are supplies that belong to the school, and families can pay into a "use-fee" to replace lost or broken items over time.
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Glue Sticks / GlueSO much landfill - thousands of tons every year.
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We're making our own, named No Waste Paste. We're hustling to have it ready for fall.
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Simple recipe of organic rice starch, distilled water, and spearmint oil for preservative. We're packaging it in a recyclable aluminum tube - even the cap is aluminum.
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We just started an indiegogo campaign for it:
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Zero Waste Schools
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We shouldn't be creating TONS of everlasting waste so kids can stick paper to paper.
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Buy Less. Buy Better.
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