Discover clever tutorials for zero-waste schoolchildren

The start of the new school year is not the best time to embark on a zero-waste adventure, with the new equipment, list of mandatory supplies and the allure of new, shiny things. There are, however, simple solutions that can help you limit your purchases, whilst avoiding alienating your child with your ecological principles.

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Some tips:

- A good idea before any start of term is to suss out which supplies you already have at home.
- Many second-hand online shopping sites can be used to find good-condition steals at reduced prices (Beebs, Geev, Rakuten, Leboncoin, etc.)
- In general, opt for supplies made of durable or recycled solid materials: a metal ruler instead of a plastic one, a fountain pen rather than a ballpoint one, coloured pencils instead of a highlighter, and so forth.
- Minimise or even say no where possible: polypropylene notebooks, non-refillable glues and plastic covers are just some examples; a nice paper cover for textbooks and maths books will do the trick!
- Use a hole punch and punch holes in your pages, rather than use clear plastic pockets.
- Avoid scented products that contain volatile and potentially allergenic products.

Make your own refillable glue pot:

Find an old jar of nail varnish, wash it out with hot water, white vinegar and lemon juice, and then fill it with glue. Use the small brush built into the cap to glue and remember to close the cap tightly to preserve the glue.

Covering textbooks and exercise books in an eco-friendly, original way

Instead of clear polypropylene, use old road maps, kraft paper, old posters or even wallpaper scraps to create an ultra-durable cover. Vary the patterns by material and according to your child's taste. And a label to help identify the different items, should you wish. The teacher may think you are eccentric or very creative parents... but an aesthetic effect is guaranteed!

Adopt an upcycled pencil case

Upcycle a jogger leg or a jumper sleeve to make the ideal case for markers and coloured pencils:
Cut out the sleeve, turn it over and sew the bottom. Make a slit on the open side and insert a tie with a safety clip to close.

Give a second lease of life to your old notebooks

Keep the plastic covers of old notebooks to make sewing patterns or unused sheets of paper for drafting.

Source: Kaizen magazine - Special issue 14, comment devenir autonome, tome 3 « zéro déchet de A à Z »