Advanced Planning for Back-to-School Can
Save Money and Help the Environment (PA)
PHILADELPHIA (August 13, 2010)
-- Even with a tight economy parents
and students still need the back-to-school shopping trip for
clothes, backpacks, computers and school supplies. A survey
conducted by the National Retail Federation found that this year
consumers expect to spend an average of $606 for back-to-school
A little advanced planning can help both the
environment and your pocketbook. Here are a few tips from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency that can point you in the right
v Buying a new computer, printer, cell phone, or other
electronic device? If you are buying a new printer, purchase one
that prints double-sided to reduce the use of paper. E-cycle your
old electronics! Many retailers are partnering with EPA to recycle
electronics. You may also be able to donate your old computer to a
local school, library or charity for a tax deduction.
v If you have to discard electronics, do it right! Check
with your local municipality, county, state environmental agency or
the EPA for the proper way to dispose of electronics safely.
E-cycling conserves precious natural resources and reduces the
amount of waste sent to landfills.
v Before you shop, see what you already have at home.
Many supplies can be reused or recycled. Backpacks, notebooks,
folders, and binders can all be reused.
v When you do need to buy new, choose products made from
recycled materials such as pencils made from old blue jeans,
binders made from old shipping boxes, and of course recycled paper
v Buy school supplies wrapped with minimal packaging; or
buy products that come in bulk sizes. Packaging accounts for more
than 30 percent of all the waste generated each year.
v Are there clothes that your child has outgrown that
are still in good shape? Donate them to a local charity or shelter
so someone else can put them to use, and earn yourself a possible
tax deduction at the same time.
v Share your used books with friends, relatives, or
younger schoolchildren. Many schools reuse textbooks to save money
and reduce waste.
v For college textbooks there is a large secondary
market for used books. Search the internet for resale sites. Also
check with the campus and nearby bookstores.
v If you bring your lunch to school, package it in
reusable containers instead of disposable ones. Bring drinks in an
insulated bottle instead of disposable bottles or cartons. This
saves money and reduces waste.
v Encourage your school to organize a recycling program
if they don’t already have one.
v If you drive to school, try carpooling, public
transportation, walking or biking instead. By changing your
transportation routine, you can save money on fuel costs, lower air
pollution levels, and decrease traffic in your
A great way to reduce pollution is not to create
it in the first place. Prevent pollution by reducing waste, reusing
or recycling more. Work with your child’s teachers and
friends to find ways to encourage everyone in your community to
make reducing waste a part of every day life.
For more information on Pollution Prevention go
For more information on E-cycling go to: