Think “reuse” when it comes to back-to-school supplies

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Most kids like the idea of buying new school supplies each year, but going back to school doesn’t have to be expensive. Before shelling out lots of dough purchasing new supplies, look at what was left over from last year. You may be surprised to find most notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, and markers can be used again. Use paper bags, leftover wrapping paper, or even a couple layers of newspapers to make book covers.

Reusing school supplies not only saves money, it is better for the environment. Reusing results in less trash sent to the landfill. The plastic found in pens, folders, and calculators are produced with fossil fuels; fossil fuel emissions negatively impact the environment. Paper comes from trees; cutting trees on a massive scale is harmful to the environment.

So think “reuse” when it comes to this year’s school supplies. You can save money and teach your children what it means to be good stewards of their resources at the same time. If you must purchase a few new items, look for products made from recycled paper, plastic, and reclaimed materials.

Learn about other ways to save energy and money at Gundersen Envision.

Go Green at Work

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These are just a few things you can do at work that add up and make a difference. Find other ways at gundersenenvision.org.

  • Do you really need to print that document? If so print double-sided when possible
  • Use natural light when available – window shades up, lights off
  • Abandon elevators – burn calories not energy by taking the stairs instead
  • No more disposables – bring your own water bottle, plates, cups, and silverware for your meals
  • Practice using less paper towels and napkins
  • Power down your computer before leaving for the day
  • Know where your recycling options are
    –  paper
    –  plastic
    –  cans
    –  glass
    –  batteries
  • Join a carpool

Think “Reuse” and save money on back to school products!

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Is your child heading back to school this year? If so, you may be bracing yourself for the high expense of school supplies. There are ways to save on school supplies though. Here are a few ideas.

Before making plans to purchase new notebooks and folders look at the ones your child used last semester. With technology becoming so prevalent, notebooks are not used as much, however teachers still ask that their students purchase them. The same applies to folders. You may be surprised to find that your child’s notebooks and folders are still in good shape with plenty of good paper still available to use. So at the end of the semester, don’t let your child throw out their notebooks and folders without looking them over.

Book covers are also becoming more prevalent. They come in many different designs and materials—but they cost money. Save and reuse paper bags, leftover wrapping paper or even a couple layers of newspapers. Pencils, pens, erasers, and markers can all most likely be reused. Most students like the idea of buying brand new items for the school year, however if they still work, save your money and ask that they reuse them. Going back to school can be less expensive if you pay attention to the products your children use, and be the judge as to whether or not they need new materials.

Reusing school products will also be beneficial toward the environment because you aren’t buying more products like paper or plastic. Why is this important? Plastic can be found in pens, folders or even calculators that students use. In order for plastic to be made, it requires oil, and oil can have negative effects on the environment including harming the atmosphere. Paper comes from trees, and trees are necessary for the environment to thrive and be healthy.

At a time when deforestation is a huge concern, it is not worth it to buy new school products when you could just reuse. Not only would this benefit your wallet but you would also be teaching your children what it means to be good stewards of their resources. So be smart and think “reuse” when it comes to school supplies.

Learn about some of the projects Gundersen Health System has implemented to save energy and money.

Read used books and save!

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Many people prefer purchasing brand new books at large bookstore chains because they like being the first one to open it, or they like the “new book” smell. But books come from paper, paper comes from trees, and trees are necessary for our environment to thrive. So it may be time to put aside the desire to buy brand new books. Instead, consider buying used books. Buying used books not only saves you money, but helps conserve valuable natural resources. Plus, many used book stores are local so you would be supporting a local business. Other alternatives include checking books out from your local library, borrowing books from friends and family members, and reading books online.

Curious as to how trees help our environment? Check out our blog on trees. You can access the link here: https://gundersenenvision.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/do-you-know-why-it-feels-cool-in-a-forest/

Learn about energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability management by attending one of our upcoming seminars. Go to http://www.gundersenenvision.org/educational-programs.

 

Beat the heat: Make your own car windshield shade

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During the summer months the inside of vehicles heat up fast, especially if they are sitting outside in the sun all day. Many people avoid this issue by purchasing car shades for their windshields. However, instead of purchasing a car shade, make your own! Making your car shield is easy to do and requires minimal material. So how do you make your own car shade? First make sure you have newspaper or any type of paper and tape it together so that it fits over your windshield. Using a marker or pen, trace your windshield onto the paper and then cut out the windshield pattern. Transfer the template over to a big piece of cardboard. Using a utility knife cut out the shape of the windshield on the cardboard. Add about six inches to one side though to allow you to fold your car shade like an accordion. Next, hold your car shade up to your windshield and cut out where the rear view mirror is so that you can fit the car shade behind it. Once you know your car shade will fit, draw five vertical lines evenly spaced on the cardboard. Fold the cardboard along the lines to make the accordion shape. You can even paint your car shade to add some pizzazz!

At Gundersen we believe that recycling and reusing products is very important. Even the smallest recycling project can make a big difference. Interested in learning how Gundersen reuses and recycles materials? Check out our website at http://www.gundersenenvision.org/recycling. Better yet, attend our Sustainability Management seminar.

Make a difference: Recycle your paper

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Recycling paper is a great way to help the environment. The picture on the left is a recycling bin for paper located directly under an employee’s desk at Gundersen Health System. The close proximity of this bin makes it easier to recycle paper without the employee having to go out of their way. The picture on the right is a large recycling bin located within a department – close enough so employees can easily empty their recycling bins under their desk at the end of the day. These large recycling bins are found throughout the Health System. Simple and easy to reach placements for recycling bins is part of the reason Gundersen was able to recycle up to 460 tons of paper and cardboard in 2012. 

Gundersen has recently expanded its efforts to recycle more than just paper and cardboard. The organization also recycles plastic, metal, blue wrap, batteries, and waste leftover from construction. Small efforts, such as recycling paper, can easily be achieved by any organization or individual ready and willing to make a difference. If you are an individual or business owner who is weary of recycling due to costs or the extra effort required, consider “reducing” the amount of waste that is created in the first place and then go from there!

For more information on recycling and other sustainable practices, visit the Envision website at www.gundersenenvision.org.

Think “Reuse” and save money on back to school products!

ImageImageImage

Is your child heading back to school this year? If so, you may be bracing yourself for the high expense of school supplies. There are ways to save on school supplies though. Here are a few ideas.

Before making plans to purchase new notebooks and folders, look at the ones your child used last semester. With technology becoming so prevalent, notebooks are not used as much, however teachers still ask that their students purchase them. The same applies to folders. You may be surprised to find that your child’s notebooks and folders are still in good shape with plenty of good paper still available to use. So at the end of the semester, don’t let your child throw out their notebooks and folders without looking them over. Book covers are also becoming more prevalent. They come in many different designs and materials—but they cost money. Save and reuse paper bags, leftover wrapping paper or even a couple layers of newspapers. Pencils, pens, erasers, and markers can all most likely be reused. Most students like the idea of buying brand new items for the school year, however if they still work, save your money and ask that they reuse them.

Going back to school doesn’t need to be expensive, so pay attention to the products your children use, and be the judge as to whether or not they need new materials. Reusing school products will also be beneficial toward the environment because you aren’t buying more products like paper or plastic. Why is this important? Plastic can be found in pens, folders or even calculators that students use. In order for plastic to be made, it requires oil, and oil can have negative effects on the environment including harming the atmosphere. Paper comes from trees, and trees are necessary for the environment to thrive and be healthy. At a time when deforestation is a huge concern, it is not worth it to buy new school products when you could just reuse. Not only would this benefit your wallet but you would also be teaching your children what it means to be good stewards of their resources. So be smart and think “reuse” when it comes to school supplies.

Learn about some of the projects Gundersen Health System has implemented to save energy and money.