I’ve noticed a lot of plastic this month as I’ve observed the role it plays at school, especially. My school tuck shop sells plastic rulers or scales, even though there are excellent metal and wood alternatives. And they seem to require all students to purchase one from the tuck shop whether they need it or not (some students came to school with metal rulers that were deemed insufficient by their class teachers for some odd reason). Many students are increasingly coming to school with gel pens and ball point pens, even though traditionally students would use nice pens that are refillable. (Pens seem to be a big thing in India–especially expensive pens as gifts for various occasions.) Then there are highlighters and correction fluid (which I don’t allow my students to use anyway), staplers (which have pieces of plastic added to the metal for some reason). Folders children use tend to be plastic more often than not. And then, of course, there are those ever handy glue sticks.
I found my mom’s old fountain pen and cleaned it up, fixed a broken part and now I’m able to use it, although I think parts of it are plastic, it’s definitely not anything that will ever end up in a landfill. There are a couple of other things I’ve learned about recently that can help us to shift from these plastic tools:
♽ Pencil highlighters (also called Eco Highlighters): no longer do we need those plastic highlighters that rarely last more than one school year
♽ Recycling crayons: this is an amazing initiative that started by a father who wanted to figure out what to do with all those stubs left over when his children were done drawing with them.
♽ Homemade glue: I haven’t tried these recipes yet, but it seems like an interesting alternative to store-bought glue.