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Pollution

Back-To-School Green Hacks

Reduce, Reuse, Repeat.

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Pack a Plastic-Free Lunch

Dalal and Isla prove that making lunch plastic-free is easier than you think.

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Here's How: Plastic-Free Food Wrap

Make your own with fabric scraps.

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DIY Reuse

These DIY projects are silly easy. Convert what you already own into an essential daily tool.

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Stop the Cycle

Save untold amounts of waste by reducing and reusing first, recycling last.

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Waste Not, Want Not

Four projects giving new life to school leftovers.

  1. Save That Pen

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  2. The Pen Guy

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  3. Zero Waste Schools

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  4. Exchange Store

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  1. Save That Pen
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    Bins for Pens

    Three students at the National University of Singapore started a non-profit after seeing too many perfectly good pens thrown away. They’ve collected 80,000 pens and diverted 8,800 to underprivileged students.
  2. The Pen Guy
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    Mercedes Pens

    The Pen Guy (AKA Costas Schuler) invites people to send unwanted pens to his home in California where he upcycles them into murals or plasters them all over his car (the so-called Mercedes Pens).
  3. Zero Waste Schools
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    Zero is the New Hero

    The Zero Waste movement of eliminating waste from daily life has spread to schools in New York City to New Zealand. Could there be an end in sight to overflowing dumpsters at the end of the school year?
  4. Exchange Store
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    Student Life

    In 2000, UC Berkeley set up a pop-up exchange for students to trade all the transient goods that flitter across campus. Over 15 years later, they have a permanent store open daily and packed with free stuff for students and staff.

Old is the New New

Buy used, shop the house and live the green dream.

  1. Buy Used

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  2. Take Stock

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  3. Shop the House

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  4. Start an Exchange

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  1. Buy Used
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    Second-Run Screens

    Buying new electronics is almost like buying a new car. Exit the Genius Bar and half the value of your new laptop evaporates in the wind. Electronics shops often sell used and refurbished products, so you can trim cost AND waste.
  2. Take Stock
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    Inventory Time

    Fact: you never think you have paper clips and yet there’s always a box lying around somewhere. Make a list of what you own and save yourself a head-scratcher in the school-supply aisle later on.
  3. Shop the House
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    No Drawer Unopened

    Look high and low for paper, pens, pencils, erasers, and USB sticks hidden around the house. You’ll be surprised at how much you already own – and how little you need to buy.
  4. Start an Exchange
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    Salvation Army

    Put out a donation bin at your office or school and watch the gently used supplies flow in. Warning: the odd dry highlighter or worn-down, eraser-less pencil might require an occasional cull.
Photo: Jun Acullador / flickr

Find out more about how plastic is impacting our oceans

Plastic-Free Food Wrap

Cut cloth into squares large enough to wrap a sandwich.
Use 100% cotton fabric.

Tape down wax paper on a work surface.
Make sure that surface can withstand some heat.

Place one pre-cut cloth square on top of taped-down wax paper.

Sprinkle beeswax over the entire surface of the fabric.
Pro tip: it’s much easier to create an even coating with small beads.

Tape a second wax paper over the fabric and gently iron.
Hint: use the cotton setting!

Peel away wax paper.

Wrap your favorite lunch!

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Make Your Own…

Headphone Cork Wrap

Photo: Tim Wikander — See all the steps.

 
No-Sew Duct-Tape Phone Case

Photo: scoochmaroo — Find out more.

 
Tape Cassette Pencil Holder (Plus Sharpener!)

Photo: The Pencil Guy — Get craftin’.

 
Lego USB Stick

Photo: ianhampton — See all the steps.

 
Upcycled Soda Bottle Zippered Pencil Case

Photo: Doodlecraft — Get craftin’.

 
Cereal Box Pencil Case

Photo: Vikalpah — Find out more.

 
Soup Can Pencil Holder

Poto: YukonJulie — See all the steps.

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Make like a dolphin & flip

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