Green Room: Back To School Waste Free

A new academic year brings with it the need for supplies, clothing, and various essentials. Embracing a sustainable approach to this annual ritual can positively impact the environment and your budget. Let’s explore creative ways for students of all ages to be eco-conscious and mindful consumers. 

Secondhand Supplies and Thrifted Fashion: Instead of rushing to buy new supplies and clothing, consider thrift stores, online marketplaces, or local buy-and-sell groups for secondhand options. Many thrift stores offer a treasure trove of gently used notebooks, stationery, backpacks, and clothing. Opting for pre-used items reduces demand for new production and helps divert usable items from landfills. 

Repair and Upcycling: Consider repair or upcycling before discarding old supplies or clothing; a torn backpack or a worn-out binder can often be given a new lease on life with simple repairs or creative embellishments. YouTube tutorials and online guides can provide step-by-step instructions for DIY repairs. 

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials: When it comes to packing lunch, reusable options are key. Invest in a sturdy, reusable lunch box or bento container to minimize single-use packaging. Reusable napkins, cutlery sets, and stainless-steel water bottles help reduce waste and promote a greener lunch routine. 

“Do Your Best” Disposal Approach: Sometimes, it’s inevitable to dispose of items. Aim to do so responsibly when it’s time to bid farewell to old spiral notebooks, used paper products, or outdated electronics. Check with your local recycling facilities to learn how to recycle or dispose of these items properly. Many communities have designated drop-off points for electronics recycling and paper products. 

Goleta’s Sustainable Solutions: There are several options to responsibly dispose of common school supplies and textiles for Goleta residents. The South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, located at 4430 Calle Real in Goleta, is a central hub for waste disposal and recycling. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s a great place to drop off paper products, electronics, and textiles for proper recycling. This facility is also a valuable resource for responsibly disposing of items like furniture, appliances, and construction debris. Remember to check their guidelines for accepted items.

In the spirit of “Do Your Best,” the Community Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is another place where you can safely dispose of hazardous materials, such as batteries and electronics, that should not go in regular waste bins. It is located on the UCSB Campus on Mesa Road at Building 565. Residents can bring items by on Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., or by appointment – call 805-882-3602.

Thanks for doing your part for our planet. Remember, even small actions can make a big difference.