The kids are back to school and starting their fall activities like soccer and music classes. Parents have been busy shopping to pick up those school supplies, backpacks, new sports equipment, clothes … all the things that a growing kid about town will need. But this creates a new layer of clutter and old stuff around the home that they have outgrown or are no longer using. These back to school recycling tips can make life a lot easier for parents to deal with all that extra stuff:
Last year’s school supplies are tough to deal with as they come home in a huge bag with the kids having no idea what to do with it all. Sit down with your child and separate out any favourite art projects or written stories that you’d like to keep, and then reuse what you can by directing scissors, art supplies and glue sticks to your craft supplies. Binders and calculators can most likely be used again next year while much of the used paper supplies can go in the recycling bin.
Because shoes, clothes and backpacks can be reused, there are lots of good recycling options for parents. Donate to your local thrift store; these shops sell everything at low prices helping those who are in need and raising money for local charities. Shoes should be donated in pairs and in good condition. With the new focus on textile recycling this year in Metro Vancouver, there is no need to toss anything in the garbage.
Sports equipment is a big expense for parents so donating your child’s old equipment can be a huge help to the community. KidSport is a great organization to donate to if you see they are collecting for one of their sales as this directly benefits families in the community. You can also check with your local sporting store to see who will give credit in exchange for used sports equipment such as bikes, skates, skis and snowboards, and lacrosse equipment. Great examples of this service include Corner Sports in Port Coquitlam and the Sports Junkies Clearance Centre in Vancouver.
Donate gently used musical instruments to the Boys & Girls Club of Vancouver to help underprivileged children or to your local thrift store. Some music and guitar stores including Long & McQuade and Tom Lee will buy back or consign musical instruments. Another creative idea is to approach your local school to see if they would like the donation.
As the kids get older, their taste in books also changes so now is the perfect time to have them go through their bookshelf to weed out the ones they are done with. Books will be accepted at any thrift store. Also, check with your child’s school to see if they are interested in accepted donated books for their library.
Involving your kids in back to school recycling is a great way to teach them about the community and the environment. For more information on back to school recycling options, visit Metro Vancouver Recycles.