School supplies, both used and unused, often generate waste that ends up in our landfills. With a little extra planning, you can help prevent your waste footprint when you do your back-to-school shopping.

Plan and Reuse

Go carefully through old supplies that have been stored away from previous years. Every piece of paper that isn’t written on can be reused. Rip out used pages and save the rest.

If your binders haven’t been written on, save those too. Used binders can be wiped clean with a slightly damp rag or wipe.

Check your pens and pencils before you throw them away. If they still are in working condition, use them before you buy new ones.

Shop Smart

When you shop for new products, choose those that are durable and made from materials that can be recycled, such as metal. Also, look for reusable products such as refillable pens.

Quality is important! Though higher quality items may be more expensive at first, they won’t break easily, will last much longer, and save you money in the long run.

Purchase items in bulk to reduce the amount of plastic required for each item. This can also save you money.

Shop Secondhand

For items such as clothes, backpacks, pencil pouches, and lunch boxes, check your local thrift stores or Facebook marketplace for gently used items.


Dispose of your waste accordingly. When going through your old items, make sure you separate paper. Unless it’s covered in stickers, paint, or glitter, it is recyclable.

If you have an Apple or Microsoft product you no longer use, returning these items to their respective stores allows companies to recycle their products responsibly.

Information from Ft Lauderdale Green Your Routine