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A green classroom

Which glue should you buy for your classroom? One dries clear, one is a liquid, and one is super strong. The students like the purple ones that dry clear, but they tend to play around with them more than they use them, and therefore they run out more quickly. Decisions, decisions. Quantity, price and quality are all factors to consider when buying glue for your classroom, but have you ever thought about which product is the best for the environment?

We put a lot of pressure on Planet Earth, and with all the challenges facing the world today, it seems the challenges are so big there that is no way to help resolve them. That is not the case. Simple changes can make a big impact. As a matter of fact, these big challenges were created by a series of small choices, so it makes sense that the solution is to make small choices every day that will translate into larger solutions.

For example, purchasing classroom materials that create the least amount of waste can have a great impact on the amount of pollution created. Once garbage leaves our hands, it is difficult to guarantee that it goes through all the proper channels to ensure that it does not end up as pollution. What we can do, though, is limit the amount of trash we create by purchasing products with the least amount of non-biodegradable or non-recyclable materials. According to CNBC, families spend over $700 per school year on school supplies. Multiply that number by every student in your class or by the total number of students in your school, and that is a lot of empty glue sticks, colored pencil packages (both the cardboard box and the plastic that covers the box), empty mechanical pencils and the list goes on. All of these things have potential after they leave your classroom to become pollution.

Simple choices like choosing products with less packaging or bio-degradable packaging add up over time. When you are shopping for glue for your classroom, in addition to cost, quantity and quality, what about also considering which one has less plastic? Which one creates the least amount of garbage?

Get your students involved to help make choices about paper, pencils, pens and markers. When making your class supply list, look for items with the least packaging and/or most recyclable, most bio-degradable packaging. Try buying bulk products like glue for your classroom and re-fill individual glue bottles. Not only does this method reduce the amount of plastic garbage created, but it is often also cheaper. Also, look for the Forest Stewardship Council seal on paper and wood products. This certifies that the forests are harvested responsibly and sustainably to help protect wildlife and habitats. Create a compost bin in your classroom, and have the students help sort the trash to ensure that recyclable materials make it into the correct bin. Engage your students in conservation conversations and empower them to make small changes that can have a large impact for the environment.

We look forward to supporting you on your green classroom journey and encourage you to find other ways that you can bring sustainability into your lives. 

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