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Staying 'green' while going back to school

Posted August 24, 2009

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— Parents have a big selection of environmentally-friendly products from which to chose during back-to-school shopping.

School supplies are going 'green' School supplies are going 'green'

Clare Harwood, a middle-school English teacher, said green products are at the top of her list when shopping for her New York City classroom.

"We need to go green. There's so much going on with the environment right now, it's kind of crazy how much an impact you can have by buying recycled paper," Harwood said.

Forty percent of all trash in the United States comes from paper, and schools are a major source of paper, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A Staples Inc. representative said sales for "green" school products are up. Choices include paper made from sugar cane, crayons from soy and pencils from recycled tires.

Those pencils caught the eye of shopper Cheyenne Morales, who was excited by the product but a little skeptical.

"I think it's pretty good. I want to see how good the quality is," Morales said.

Price is also a consideration for shoppers, and "green" products can be more expensive. Retailers said there's a limit to how much consumers are willing to pay to be environmentally friendly.

"They don't mind paying a little bit more but definitely not double the price," Justin Faye, with West Side Stationers, said.

To save money as she shops for her teenagers every year, Mary Isakson uses three Rs: reuse, reduce, recycle.

"Taking last year's notebooks, maybe they're not fresh enough to go back to school, but they might be great for doing scratchwork for doing homework," she said.

Isakson said the process also teaches the next generation about making smart choices for the environment.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • timothycapwell Aug 24, 2009

    The "green movement" is a bunch of garbage.

  • br549znc Aug 24, 2009

    If the price is higher.....forget being green, red, yellow or any other color of the rainbow.

  • Pseudonym Aug 24, 2009


    Gee, what's sinister about Big Brother telling you what to drive, wear, where to go to school, what shingles to put on your house, what water heater to buy, all in the name of a LIE!!!

    Positive indeed!

  • SME2 Aug 24, 2009

    What is sinister about being green? is it the Devil at work in disguised?

    The only sinister thing is peoples attitudes that EVERYTHING is negative and nothing can possibly be positive.

  • jrc1970 Aug 24, 2009

    I have no energy to debate this today, but seriously stop it already. This is just another way for the governement to tax us taxapayers. Being very careful with the environment is very important, but to the extent people are buying into it is just plain stupid. Get ready for the Carbon Tax.

  • Pseudonym Aug 24, 2009


    On the surface, this appears to be a positive story. However, there is a sinister undertone in the whole "green" movement, so this is actually a negative story.

  • ttd Aug 24, 2009

    Us to oogum boogum!

  • SME2 Aug 24, 2009

    LOL a positive article that people turn into a negative! SUPRISE!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 24, 2009

    The "green" things mentioned in the article don't make sense to me. They mentioned using tire rubber pencils instead of wooden pencils. Wood degrades. Rubber not so much. Then they mentioned using recycled paper instead of regular paper. Might save a few trees. But the companies will still clear-cut and reseed land because that's their business.

    Want to REALLY make a difference, look to eliminate the use of items that don't degrade very well. Like using less plastics in bookcovers and notebooks. Quit using styrofoam trays/plates in the lunchroom. Etc., etc., etc.

  • computer trainer Aug 24, 2009

    Yeah, well, the price of these recycled items is out of site. I saw some that were 2 to 3 TIMES the price of the new stuff. I am huge on recycling, BUT this kind of stuff keeps people from recycling.

    Wonder why a moderator has to APPROVE comments on this topic??