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Head Back to School with the Environment in Mind and Save Money!

Release Date: 08/22/2006
Contact Information: Mike Frankel (215) 814-

PHILADELPHIA - Time for school means time to shop. Students starting the new year need everything from clothes to computers. The National Retail Federation estimates that families will spend an average of $527.00 per child readying them for school.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that can save you money and help the environment by reducing waste.

$ Choose products made from recycled materials: buy pencils made from old blue jeans, binders made from old shipping boxes, and of course recycled paper products. You can also reuse items like refillable pens, rechargeable batteries, and scrap paper for notes.

$ Sort through the current materials in your home first. Many supplies can be reused or recycled. Backpacks, notebooks, folders, and binders can all be reused.

$ Buy school supplies wrapped with minimal packaging; or buy products that come in bulk sizes. Packaging accounts for more than 30 percent of all the waste generated each year.

$ Do you have clothes that youve outgrown that are still in good shape? Donate them to a local charity or shelter so someone else can put them to use, and earn yourself a possible tax deduction at the same time.

$ Buying a new computer, cellphone, or other electronic device? E-cycle your old one! Many retailers participate in an electronics recycling program. You can also donate your old computer to a local school, library or charity. If you have to throw your old electronics away, do it right! Check with your local health and sanitation agencies for the proper way to dispose of electronics safely. Proper disposal keeps dangerous materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and chromium out of the environment.

$ Share your used books with friends, relatives, or younger schoolchildren. Many schools reuse text books to save money and reduce waste. Covering your textbooks with cut-up shopping bags helps reduce waste and keeps your books in good condition.

$ If you bring your lunch to school, package it in reusable containers instead of disposable ones. Bring drinks in a thermos instead of disposable bottles or cartons. This saves money and reduces waste.

$ If you drive to school, try carpooling, public transportation, walking or biking instead. By doing so you help reduce wasted fuel, lower air pollution levels, and decrease traffic in your community.

Waste less by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Work with your teachers and friends to find ways to encourage everyone in your community to make reducing waste a part of every day.

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Editor’s Note: Attn: Radio Producers, an MP3 file is available to compliment this story at: