Environmental Education

Let’s Reuse It

We hear the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” all of the time and often we tend to focus on the third “R” as we encourage people to recycle. But what about that second “R” and the aspect of reusing materials? To get one or more uses out of something that may have been destined for a landfill or a processing facility still counts as a good deed. And nobody knows that better than our teachers!

Last month your KFB team had the honor of meeting Chris Buckley, the Chair of the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Board of Directors and also the energy behind the Teachers Supply Depot, which is run by the Duval County School District. Chris and her team manage this important operation where reusable materials are donated by businesses and community members and then distributed free to public school teachers to help them out in the classroom. It’s one of those “you have to see it to believe it” operations due to its size and abundant supplies such as books, paper, binders, file folders, arts & crafts supplies and more. The list goes on and on. Since the opening of the Teacher Supply Depot in 1996, more than 1,400 contributors have donated over $60 million worth of supplies.

There are reusable resource centers all around the state for those that like the idea of this concept. Upon returning to Tallahassee, the online search began for a local center and up popped The Sharing Tree, a reusable resource center in the Capital City that redistributes materials to the community while also providing educational materials and creative inspiration to educators. All it took was one look, and the wheel started spinning for future partnerships!

Here is a list of other reusable resources around the state. Every one of them is different in terms of how they are structured, who can participate and whether they give away materials or charge a fee so low it seems like they are giving it away. Check out this list and see if there is a center near you. Then tell a teacher about it. Chances are they already know about it but just in case…

Ft. Lauderdale: Tools For School Broward

Ft. Lauderdale: Trash to Treasure

Gainesville: Tools for Schools

Jacksonville: Teachers Supply Depot

Kissimmee: A Gift for Teaching of Osceola County

Melbourne: Reusable Resources Adventure Center

Miami: Rethink and Reuse Center

North Miami: Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials

North Miami: Teacher’s Universe – Crayons to Computers

Orlando: A Gift for Teaching

Port Charlotte: Teacher’s Supply Depot

Sanford: A Gift for Teaching—Seminole County

Tallahassee: The Sharing Tree

West Palm Beach: Resource Depot

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