Add “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle” to the original three-R’s (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic)

August 25, 2009 at 7:15 am Leave a comment

classroomThe Issue

During the school year, each student will create 240 pounds of waste.

  • The average family with school age children will spend $594.24 on back-to-school purchases this year!
  • During the school year, the average school throws away 38 tons of paper, the equivalent of 644 trees!
  • Each year, six billion pens are thrown away in the U.S.!
  • During the school year, each elementary school cafeteria creates 18,760 pounds of waste.
  • Schools use more than $6 billion in energy every year and about $1.5 billion (or enough to hire about 30,000 new teachers) is wasted due to inefficiency!

Be Part of the Solution
How do our children become more environmentally friendly?

  • Instead of buying lunch from the cafeteria, pack a healthy, organic waste-free lunch in a metal or PVC-free reusable lunch bag and a stainless steel water bottle!
  • Before shopping, take a careful inventory of what you already have, like pencils, notebooks, glue sticks, markers, paper, etc.
  • Help your child’s school start an edible garden on the campus.
  • If possible, carpool! You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half if you take turns driving (or better yet ride the school bus, 31% of students live less than a mile from home, so even better, walk or bike).
  • Buy used textbooks and sell back at the end of the year.
  • Almost half of the money spent on back to school shopping goes to buying clothes, why not try a flea market, yard sale or thrift store like SPC’s Dollars for Scholars Thrift Store?
  • Look for recycled pencils and refillable pens packed in recycled packaging.
  • Turn off your computer at night!  A computer left on 24 hours a day costs you between $115 and $160 in electricity annually!
  • Reduce word document margins to .75” and turn scrap paper into note pads.
  • Buy paper with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content possible, and processed chlorine free (PCF), like New Leaf Paper for printers, and Mead Recycled Notebooks for school.
  • Help your child’s school start a recycling program.
  • Print double sided and only what is necessary!

To learn more about sustainability at St Petersburg College, e-mail or visit



Entry filed under: eco-tips, st. petersburg college.

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who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at

sustainable | SPC

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