Posted on: August 18, 2017

It's Easy To Be Green This Back-To-School Season

This month, students across Franklin County are heading back to the classroom. Do your back-to-school plans include saving money by reusing items and reducing the amount of waste your family generates? If not, consider these cost savings ways to get the most out of the school year and increase the amount of materials you’re keeping out of the landfill.

Reduce Waste

  • Consider reusing school supplies such as folders, binders, pencils and crayons from last year. Many times, at the end of the year, these items are sent home in good working condition and can be reused. Unwanted backpacks and lunch bags can be donated.
  • If you choose to buy new supplies, look for items with little-to-no packaging, buy in bulk and purchase notebooks made with recycled content.

Eliminate Food Waste/Compost

  • Packing lunch allows you to control the amount of waste you generate by packing only what your little ones will eat. Opt for reusable sandwich bags, lunch containers, and reusable water bottles.
  • Encourage your student to bring home any leftover food like apple cores and banana peels which can be composted. Uneaten food can also be reused for dinner or tomorrow’s lunch.
  • These easy actions are easier on your wallet and will keep kids fueled and hydrated throughout the day.  

Cut Down on Emissions 

  • Keep kids healthy while reducing their environmental impact by encouraging them to ride their bike or walk to school when possible. Families dropping students off at school by car, should consider carpooling with other families to save time, money and contribute to cleaner air.


  • Many college-bound students need new dorm room sized linens and furniture, consider donating TV stands and bedding not needed at one of Franklin County’s many donation organizations.


  • As students unpack crayons, new school shoes and dorm room items, remember to recycle those leftover cardboard boxes and paper in a curbside or drop-off recycling container. Materials accepted for recycling in Franklin County are: glass bottles and jars, metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs, and paper such as cardboard, newspaper, office paper, cartons and lined boxes (such as broth containers).

Have a hard-to-recycle item to dispose? Check out our Recycling & Reuse Search Tool

Following these simple ideas will help to start your family's school year off on an environmentally-friendly path!

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