Archive for the ‘Tips for School’ Category

Donate Your Old Books to Help a Child Get a Shot at Better Learning

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Even though it is one of the richest countries in the world, all across the US (as well as across the globe) schools are struggling to provide their students with the textbooks they need to meet their learning goals, including those laid out by the governments for standardized tests.

Kids end up having to share their textbooks, taking them home on a rotating basis or teachers have to photocopy relevant pages to distribute as flimsy handouts. Or spending their hard earned cash buying books themselves (yes a lot of teachers do that and they really should not have to. Contrary to the opinions of some politicians a teacher does not make a lot)

Swap.com is a site that has been providing a portal for people to swap their unwanted books, CDs and DVDs for several years now. For a fee of between 50 cents and a $1.00 users can safely trade their stuff for something they do want, saving thousands of books, DVDs even video games from ending up in the trash while giving someone else the pleasure of getting something enjoyable for very little.

So popular has the concept become (the site has 1 million regular swappers and counting) that the founders wondered if their concept could be put to good use to help alleviate the book shortages in the nation’s schools. From that notion swap4schools was born.

The concept is still a familiar one to swap.com members. Schools post their “wants” for other users to browse and if you have a matching product you can donate it to them via the site. Donating the books gets you nothing physical in return but you will get a nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing that the book that sat on your shelf for a year gathering dust is now helping a child somewhere master say, the intricacies of the works of Shakespeare.

Facing Up to the Biggest Challenge To Environmental Awareness

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

If you ask the “experts” what is the biggest challenge facing the environmental protection movement as a whole these days is and you will get a thousand different answers. But there really is one challenge far greater than all the others combined – public awareness.

The sad fact is that too many people simply don’t care. Many rationalize this disinterest in the world around them as OK because they are too busy, or that their lone actions cannot make a difference (the same rationale they use for not exercising their right to vote either) They don’t seem to realize that they are a part of the environment themselves and that everything that goes on in the world around them does have (or will have) a direct impact on their own lives in the end.

But just like voting, every individual action does have an impact, even if it is seemingly very small. And that is what Tip the Planet is all about. The people who contribute there are not, on the whole, “qualified” eco experts. They are just normal people who have picked up some tidbit or another of knowledge, some simple way to live a more environmentally conscious life and take a few minutes every once in a while to share it. They are people like you.

However small you may think your tip is please share it. And then take a few minutes to read what others have shared. Improve it if you like and join in the conversation (there are lots of helpful tutorials to show you how). Then tell a few friends about it and encourage them to do the same. Every action really does count – even if it is “just” sharing that old herbal cold relief remedy that your Granny used to swear by or that neat little trick you found for clear skin using ingredients from your refrigerator.

Going Green For Back To School

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Believe it or not it’s almost back to school time again. This year while you are getting the kids ready to hit the books again why not take the extra time to make the whole process a little bit greener. Here are some tips:

Take Inventory Before You Shop – There is no rule that says little Johnny must have a brand new book bag every year if last years is still perfectly serviceable. Neither does he have to have two dozen new pencils if he already has a pencil box full of them. By being realistic about what your kids really need to be ready to go back to school – instead of giving in to what they want – you will reduce waste and save some money.

Go Green Clothes Shopping – New clothes are probably the biggest expenditure Moms and Dads have before every new school year begins. Thrift stores are a great place to find clothes fore back to school and at most of them even your fashionista teenage daughter will be able to find clothes that she approves of. While you are there why not drop off the clothes she has grown out of as well so that a younger girl can take advantage of her superior sense of style.

If you must buy new look for environmentally friendly materials like natural cotton, hemp and wool rather than disposable fashions that’ll wear out (and wear down the planet’s resources) before spring graduation

Be Paper Conscious – Paper still rules the day in moist schools although most of the rest of the world has almost forgotten what taking notes in a notebook (other than the laptop computer kind) actually is. This said you can still make greener choices when buying your kids stationery supplies. Buy products with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content possible, that is processed chlorine free (PCF), such as New Leaf Paper for printers, and Mead Recycled Notebooks for use in school.

These are just a few tips for adding a little green to your back to school routine. For more great tips about all things green, or to add your own, please visit Tip the Planet, the fastest growing Green Wiki on the Web.