Save That Pen
The Pen Guy
Zero Waste Schools
Bins for PensThree 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.
Mercedes PensThe 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).
Zero is the New HeroThe 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?
Student LifeIn 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.
Shop the House
Start an Exchange
Second-Run ScreensBuying 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.
Inventory TimeFact: 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.
No Drawer UnopenedLook 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.
Salvation ArmyPut 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.
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!
Make Your Own…
Headphone Cork Wrap
No-Sew Duct-Tape Phone Case
Tape Cassette Pencil Holder (Plus Sharpener!)
Lego USB Stick
Upcycled Soda Bottle Zippered Pencil Case
Cereal Box Pencil Case
Soup Can Pencil Holder