Recycling and Reusing Your Old Notebooks to Make Them Feel New


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Delinah Rosario, Opinion Editor

FGCU holds sustainability at its core and is one of the nation’s greenest campuses. It is also recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges or universities in the U.S. Things as simple as reusing old binders and notebooks can contribute to that. How much money do you spend every year buying school supplies? It isn’t something we just started doing. Some of us went shopping with our parents or guardians to make sure we had everything on the school supplies list that our schools sent home since we were kids. 

I remember being in elementary school and going to Walmart to get the discounted three-ring binders and two-pocket folders. I also remember taking my siblings to do the same. It seems to be a never-ending cycle, even now in college. Sure, I don’t have to buy three packs of highlighters and a pack of black ink pens, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need supplies for some of my classes. In this day and age, electronics have taken over so most of our classes just require a laptop or iPad, however, some are still fairly traditional.  

As a theater minor, I was required to have a three-ring binder to hold all of my sheet music for my musical theater class. I haven’t had to use a binder in a really long time, but I knew I had one somewhere. Rather than going out and spending money on one, I looked for the one I had and luckily was able to find it. So many times at the end of the semester or year, we throw out what we don’t use when in all reality we can repurpose it and use it again.  

I can’t explain how many times I use the same notebook for a different class. Majoring in journalism, some of the information from one class can be useful in another. I used the same notebook for News Literacy and Grammar which were taken in two different semesters. If you’ve only used a few pages from a spiral notebook, why throw it away? Instead, rip out the pages you don’t need and use the book as a journal or a study guide for another class.  

As someone who loves to DIY, there are so many projects you can create with old binders and notebooks. If you’re artsy, you can take the extra pages, draw designs and create a unique coloring book. You could also turn old notebooks into scrapbooks or photo journals. Why not cut out photos from magazines or print out some at Walgreens and make a dream/goal book? The point is, with a creative mindset there are many things to do with your old-school supplies.  

If it’s something that is so far gone when it comes to reusing, why not recycle?  

A good way to reset after the fall semester is to clean out all of those folders and binders and get ready for a new semester with a fresh start. Recycle those old assignments and make those notebooks look brand new. If you want, you can even spruce it up by adding some designs with paint, markers, or washi tape. Do what you need to to make this semester the best one for you.