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.

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.

 

Pay attention to the paper you use

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Do you pay attention to the source of your paper products? If not, take a look—perhaps you may discover that it is time for a change. Why? Deforestation has been an ongoing issue for a long time. If trees are not cut down sustainably, there can be major issues to the environment including runoff, soil degradation, and a loss of habitat for wild animals. What does it mean to cut down trees sustainably? There are many ways that include cutting down trees in rows or cutting down random trees scattered throughout the forest. The goal is to leave some trees behind to still support the soil and wildlife in that area.

Today, many companies are starting to purchase their wood or paper products from sustainable sources. This is good news for you as a customer because it gives you the option to choose something that is better for the environment. So what should you look for when it comes to sustainably produced paper sources? Look for paper that has the FSC label or Forest Stewardship Council label. This council is a non-profit organization dedicated to forest preservation. They work with various other groups including the government to preserve our forests and provide people with enough wood at the same time. Another great option is looking for recycled paper. But make sure to pay attention to how much of it is recycled and choose the product that is closest to being 100% recycled. If you don’t, you may end up using paper that is made up of a higher percentage of newer trees rather than reused product. Next time you buy any type of paper product, look for the source and choose something that not only benefits you but also the environment.

 

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.

Do you know why it feels cool in a forest?

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Do you know why it feels cool when you walk into a forest? Was your first thought because it is shady? If it is, you are partially correct. Forests usually feel cooler because trees intercept rainfall and retain water throughout their entire body (stump, branches, and leaf surface). This not only helps the tree last longer without water, but it also helps prevent runoff. How else do trees prevent runoff? First trees grow deep root systems and they also produce organic matter (fallen leaves or pine needles, and branches), which helps create an infiltration system for surface water to go through, instead of surface water turning into runoff and destroying the nearby soil. Trees also recycle rainfall back into the air through evaporation. Aside from runoff prevention, trees also absorb Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and give off oxygen for us to breathe. So more trees equals less CO2 in our atmosphere. Overall trees play a large role in runoff prevention and air quality. Without trees most of the soil today would most likely be nonexistent. Today there is a huge concern over deforestation. Trees are needed for building purposes, paper and more. But they are also necessary for the environment, and without them, areas will suffer greatly. So do your part and get your organization to raise funds to plant trees or if you have the space, plant a tree in your own yard! Next time you walk through a forest, pay attention to the little details on trees, and gain an appreciation for the many benefits our earth receives from them.