How to recycle school uniforms & other back-to-school tips
As we reach mid-summer, thoughts slowly turn to the back-to-school rush and the need to get school bags, books and uniforms. But, before progressing to the next school year, let's first consider what to do with last year's garments in a way that's good for the earth. So, before you hit the shops in a panic or send more waste to landfill, read our green back-to-school guide here.
A common problem
When last year's uniform creeps up to the elbows and fails to hide white socks dividing black shoes and trousers, it's time to go up a size. Depending on growth spurts, this experience may occur more than once in a school year. The result is all too many uniforms being produced, landfilled and slowly decomposing for years!
Consider these alternatives to dispose of your under-sized clothes in the greenest way possible.
Getting rid of old school uniforms.
If the uniform is branded with a school crest, ask the school if they have a collection bank or means of distributing previously worn clothes. If they do, great if not, why not encourage people to open such a scheme in or outside of the school. One of the most inspirational stories of this summer has been one-such scheme set up in Belfast.
In the event, the uniforms can't be passed on in collections or even online, there are still positive ways to dispose of them. All items of clothing are recyclable, in fact, many are made from recyclable materials. Recycled clothes can also be reproduced as car seats, padding and even art installations.
Measured back-to-school shopping
Before hitting the shops for supplies, take stock of what is in the home. Do you really need a dozen new packets pf pens, papers and books? If there are children studying similar subjects in the home, check what books can be handed down or reused. Save by not constantly buying new copies of books by switching to e-books or pre-used copies online. By taking stock of what you have at home, you'll pleasantly surprised by what you save in comparison with other years.
Meanwhile, the reduction in paper wasted is a much-needed step in the right direction for domestic UK recycling. At present, the average UK family wastes an astonishing 6 trees worth of paper each year! At ReGen, we tackle this problem head-on, recycling mixed papers and save 100% of this waste type from landfill, thanks to an onsite Refuse Derived Fuel plant. The dual approach to both recycling and harvesting energy from waste makes ours one of the most advanced recycling plants in the world.
In any home, the best way to get your children on board with the recycling is to explain the aim and reason. At ReGen Waste we believe the future of the eco-industry lies in advanced technology, but only alongside better education on the subject. Without dishing out homework before the term starts, why not introduces your children to some of the lighter activities found on site's like Recycle Now and others such as this worksheet.