Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pack lightly and carry a green backpack

**This article appears here at Cvillebettyblog and in the Cville Weekly's ABODE, also available online at www.abode.com**

As you return to the classroom this month, don’t leave your eco-awareness at the door. Pack lightly for the sake of the planet and your pocketbook.

Experts say Americans will spend 600 dollars on back-to-school shopping. But, my green friends, do you really need all that stuff? Consult the list, and look no further than the nearest junk drawer, where pens, pencils, crayons, and highlighters abound. Dr. Denise Young, mother of five, recycles last year’s binders and notebooks, saving money and resources. When it comes to clothing, electronics, and supplies, embrace the concept of share and share alike among friends, family members, classmates and roommates.

Next on the list: paper products. Save a tree by minding your Ps and Cs: look for PCW, Post-Consumer Waste, preferably 100% recycled, and PCF, Processed Chlorine-Free (Staples). The Blue Ridge Eco-Shop carries pens and pencils made of leftover furniture wood, as well as recycled cardboard three-ring binders (no vinyl or PVC).

The popular Laptop Lunchbox (at Rebecca’s) is lead-free, BPA-free, reusable, and easy to clean.

Don’t forget the quintessential back-to-school item: the backpack. “Buy something that lasts,” Young suggests. “A good backpack from Lands End or LLBean can last years.”

Now enjoy the rest of summer recess,

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