Back to School!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

With the fall term just around the corner (I also shuddered involuntarily; it’s okay), it’s time for us students to slowly begin preparing for the intellectual onslaught of our coming courses. We have a lot to prepare, what with textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, binders and highlighters to buy, in addition to finalizing course selections, OSAP, and other bureaucratic nightmares. The major problem with this time of the year is that most people go out and buy a new set of EVERYTHING, despite the fact they have a majority of last year’s supplies left over. Not only is this bad for your wallet, but it greatly increases the amount of waste being spewed out into our environment.

Here are some things you can do to lessen your Back-to-School environmental impact:
  1. Buy used books! Not only are you saving tons of money, but you’re also reusing books that are made from many a paper.
  2. Reuse notebooks, but if you must buy new ones, buy recycled paper notebooks. Also ask your profs if you can use last semester’s lab books, as you rarely fill up a whole notebook with one course.
  3. Don’t buy school supplies that you don’t actually need; just because it has dinosaur print does not mean you have to own it. You’ll get over it after you leave the store. If you use pencils, invest in a nice mechanical pencil and cut down on all the wood necessary to produce standard pencils.
  4. Bring your own lunches to school if you live off-campus and cut down on unnecessary packaging. Bring along a reusable water bottle too! Healthy AND more affordable!
  5. If you live reasonably close to campus, walk or bike to school; if you live father away, use the uPass that will now be available to all full-time students and bus instead of driving.
  6. Use all of your supplies until they run out, and not only until you get bored. You bought the furry notepad, and you’re stuck with it now.
If we all take the time to implement these seemingly insignificant changes, we will be better for it in the end. By cutting down on waste and emissions, we let the planet know that, hey, we’ve got your back (with an optional ‘yo’ at the end).


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