Recycling in Schools: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Here are some ways you can lessen your impact on the environment and still have a fantastic school year:

  • Encourage families to buy items on your school supply list that are made from recycled content. Buy notebooks, folders and writing paper made from recycled paper. When shopping look for products made from recycled paper or recycled-content paper. Try and get the brands with the highest percentage of recycled content, such as brands marked Made from 100% recycled post-consumer recycled paper. It is important to buy products made from recycled material so we can help to "close the recycling loop. By selecting products made of recycled content material you will be supporting residential recycling programs and their associated markets.
  • Reuse empty plastic tubs for storing pencils, paper clips or other small items needed on hand for school.
  • Recycle school papers such as old homework and tests in your Denver Recycles purple cart. Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees.
  • Pack lunches in reusable containers instead of disposable plastic bags or plastic wrap. If reusable containers are not an option, try wrapping sandwiches in aluminum foil, which you can recycle in your Denver Recycles purple cart.
  • Avoid buying single-serving, non-recyclable food items such as juice boxes, individual chip bags and cereal variety packs. You can also cut down on wasteful packaging and by buying items in bulk.
  • Don’t waste paper! Write and print on both sides. Set your computer and printer to “double-sided” as the default option so documents automatically print double-sided. Printing double-sided handouts, reports and tests can dramatically reduce paper use, which saves nature AND saves money. Did you know that the average American uses 650 pounds of paper per year?
  • Collect scratch paper for reuse. Start saving one-sided print jobs in a box, file or basket and use these papers for scratch paper when doing math problems, taking notes or completing art projects.
  • Instead of buying bottled water for lunches and field trips, pour drinks in a reusable, durable water bottles or thermoses.
  • Donate bulk amounts of items such as CD cases, cork, wire, block foam, fabric to Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) Colorado. RAFT transforms surplus materials into hands-on learning activities for students. For more information on RAFT call 303-548-2587 or visit online at