Summer vacation is almost here for most students. Before they head home for a couple of months to relax and enjoy the sunshine, they’ll have to clean out their desks and help get the classroom ready for next year. A lot of paper, pencils, crayons, notebooks, art projects and other supplies have accumulated over the school year!
If you have a student (or if you are a teacher), remember to reuse and recycle, so that the annual cleanup doesn’t create a full trash can or dumpster.
Here are some ways to “green-up” classroom cleanup!
1. Separate paper. Notebooks with unused paper can be saved for next year. Paper with a blank back can be reused as note paper during the summer. Paper that has been used on both sides should be recycled.
2. Put reusable binders, pencils, pens, rulers, erasers, markers, and other supplies in a special box. Mark the box “School Supplies.” Before heading to the store for new school supplies in a couple of months, pull out the box and “shop” at home.
3. Clean your desk without using toxic chemicals. Use soap (such as dishwashing liquid), water, and rags. You might have to rub hard to get off all of the pencil and eraser marks.
4. Sort recyclables and keep them separate from trash. Plastic water bottles and aluminum cans should be recycled instead of being placed in the trash. Even glue bottles, if marked with a #1 or #2 in the recycling symbol, can be recycled. Empty and rinse them first, of course!
5. Empty your backpack. Use a vacuum cleaner and rag to clean out the inside. Then, hang the bag up for use during the summer or store it for use next fall.
6. Donate books that are no longer wanted or needed to a library or charitable organization. Or, give them to a younger friend or family member.
7. Coordinate a playground cleanup. Pick up the litter that has gathered. Put recyclables into a recycling bin and toss trash into the trash can.
Now all that’s left for a student is to say “Thank you” to the teachers and head off into weeks of lazy summer days!
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