As you already may have noticed in my waste of the week and paper of the week updates, a major source of my waste is going to school and studying for it. As most of the zero waste bloggers and youtubers, however, are already out of school. there are not really that much tips on avoiding waste in school. This, on the other hand, challenges me to figure out things myself and so I will do.
I want to start the series zero waste school life starting with this post.
Until last year, I used to use a planner for my homework every year I went to school.
So, a school planner means..
.. about 150 pages for daily homework
.. additional about 20 pages for addresses, notes, information etc.
.. an outer plastic cover
.. sometimes another transparent cover
.. sometimes a plastic lug for a pen
.. a spiral binding
Most of the time, we do not even really use the planner. When do you really write notes or addresses in your school planner? When do you actually use the note pages or the information pages?
Given that you would buy a new planner in a year, this makes very little sense to a lot of people. As the planners cover the whole year, at least holiday pages and weekend pages are not used. Additonally, it occurred very rarely that I actually used the whole page for my homework. I then would maybe use the unused pages for random doodling or scribbling but in the end, it all ended up in the garbage.
So, all in all, this kind of planner does not really serve its purpose and is a source of a lot of waste as well.
NOTE: I am still using a calendar that is producing less trash yet will still go to the landfill. I use it because it is very convenient and, as I love the design of the planner, adds value to my life. I am, however, figuring out less enoviermentally- damaging alternatives.
This school year, I did not use a planner, but manage things differently.
homework: At the first page after each subject's cover page, I just inserted a normal sheet of paper that I drew a table on, dividing the paper into three column; date, study content and homework. I sum up every lesson afterwards because I, personally, find it helpful but it is, of course also possible to leave out that column. Doing this, I needed 4 DIN A 4 pages for each subject on average now. For one school year, this would make an amount of about 40 pages what equals about 80 pages in a regular school planner.
notes: For most of the time, I note things in my smartphone or at my computer. If I, however, feel that I want to have something virturally on paper, I take a paper sheet of a pile on my desk, consisting of backsides of letters, envelopes, backsides of shopping receipts, note pages I somehow found and other small snippets of paper. I am currently using up this pile as I want to transform most of my notes to digital gadgets
addresses:The only addresses, I have to remember, are the ones of my Japanese friends who I exchange letters with. Those I wrote down in my calendar and smartphone. Other addresses, that I will presumably only need to know this one time, I write down on a note paper.
timetable and grades: I have the sheet of my timetable, that we get at the beginning of each school year on the front page of my school stuff folder. I write my grades on a small post- it note that I keep in this folder as well.
information and facts: Honestly, I never read these mathematical formulas, science of English facts so I do not miss them now.
All in all, I have replaced the pages of a planner with paper (recyclable) or digital notes. It is pretty simple to get rid of a planner but I think that it certainly reduces your waste and negative impact on the envirement.
So, I hope you enjoyed this post, keep it up and see you soon