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Seven ways to make your school year more sustainable

  • Written by Guest

As students across the country begin a new school year, Republic Services is encouraging parents, teachers and administrators to incorporate sustainability practices whenever possible with seven back to school tips.  

“The start of a new school year is always thrilling, but it can also be hectic and stressful,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services. “Sustainability is typically not top of mind as we begin a new school year; however incorporating one new sustainable practice into your daily routine is both simple and rewarding. We are excited to share these back to school sustainability tips, and encourage everyone to adopt one tip to help make this school year more sustainable.”

Republic suggests practicing one of these useful tips as students, teachers and schools begin the new school year:
1. Repurpose: Before starting the new school year, sort through old supplies. Many from last year can be reused, repurposed or donated.
2. Empty, Clean & Dry: Always make sure your recyclables are EMPTY, CLEAN and DRY before tossing them in the blue recycling bin.
3. Plan: Make a list before you shop for school supplies to limit impulse buying.
4. Buy Smart: Purchase and use supplies made from recycled or reused products.
5. Reuse: Bring drinks in a thermos or reusable water bottle and be sure to recycle milk cartons, bottles or other recyclable containers.
6. Pack it Up: If your child brings their lunch to school, send reusable containers and carry them in a reusable bag or lunch box.
7. Volunteer: Find out if your school has a recycling program, and volunteer. If not, team up with administrators and teachers to start a recycling program that works for your school.

Back to school time is a great opportunity to both identify and minimize the impact of individual activities on the local environment. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food waste is the second largest category of municipal solid waste and is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Based on USDA calculations, approximately 31 percent of all food at home and school goes uneaten, and is eventually discarded. By incorporating sustainable practices at home and school, parents, teachers and administrators can instill sustainable behaviors in students that can be carried forward throughout their life.

Known as the Blue PlanetTM sustainability initiative, Republic Services is defining its approach to corporate responsibility through reduced emissions from operations, materials management, safety, community engagement and employee growth opportunities. To view Republic’s Sustainability Report, go to: https://www.republicservices.com/sustainability.
For more information, visit the Republic Services website at RepublicServices.com.

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