Greener BeeGreen TipsBack to school tips, flea market and Ask a Gardener: Home and Garden News

Consider buying used book, or using online books, when preparing for a new school year. The Cuyahoga County Waste District has tips for reducing, reusing and recycling when preparing for back to school.  

GREEN TIPS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL: As summer winds down, families are preparing to get kids ready to go back to school.  That usually means buying new things and throwing out last year’s stuff, but the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District has back-to-school tips for saving money and the environment.

Here are some ideas for going green while going back to school. Check out the waste district’s website to learn more about recycling.  

Reuse last year’s stuff: Supplies such as folders, book covers, scissors, markers, glue sticks and rulers may still be in good shape. Why buy what you don’t need? If you have supplies you can’t use, donate them to a local day care, pre-school, day camp or art program.

Look for recycled products: Many brands of pencils, paper, binders and notebooks are made with recycled paper.

Book smarts: Buy used books or rent them. See if your school offers online textbooks.

In uniform: Kids need school clothes, but they don’t have to be brand new. Organize a uniform exchange or clothing swap at your child’s school, or check out resale shops for kids’ clothing.

Old electronics: When you upgrade to a new computer or laptop, remember CPUs, monitors, printers, laptops and their devices can be recycled year-round or seasonally at city service departments in Cuyahoga County. Call your city hall for details or visit

Lunch smarts: Plastic baggies, juice boxes and pre-packaged snacks can add up to a lot of trash. Buy a lunchbox with reusable plastic containers and a reuseable water bottle to eliminate daily plastic and paper waste.

Thinking green: Encourage your students to think about whether an item can be reused or recycled before pitching it in the garbage.

Recycle paper: Place worksheets, test papers and unwanted art projects into your curbside recycling bin.

FLEA MARKET: Shop for bargains and collectibles at the Solon Historical Society’s Flea Market, 10 a.m. to Sunday, Aug. 21 at the Solon Historical Society, 33975 Bainbridge Road. No early bird shoppers; admission is free.

ASK A GARDENER:  Worried about pooped-out petunias? The Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County and members of area garden clubs will be available to answer questions and give advice during an “Ask the Gardener” session on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Cleveland Botanical Garden.

“Ask the Gardener” runs noon to 4 p.m. at the botanical garden, 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland.

Free with garden admission, which is free for garden and Holden Arboretum members, $11 for adults and $6 for children 3-12.

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