We keep hearing about the push to stop wasteful behaviour, how it’s important to teach our children to reduce the amount of trash they produce, to reuse stuff-for the same or different purposes that it was originally intended, no matter as long as it means less waste-to actively recycle whatever we can from our household discards.
And yet, when I call my local elementary school to ask if they would take notebooks with a few missing pages at the top (I swear, none of them less than ¾ new); boxes of crayons, colored pencils, and markers that have been used a bit, perhaps missing one or two colors; used plastic binders and folders in good shape, and other school supplies…
… I am told that jeez, they would be happy to take them if only they were new, but that they don’t have any use for my crap stuff.
So, I ask you, our readers…
What the hell?
Needing to let out some steam, I call my s.o. to rant about this, and what he tells me makes sense-in an unholy twisted way:
It’s politically incorrect.
Public schools cannot distribute used stuff to students because it may make the kids feel bad.
Parents may complain that their kids are being singled out as poor.
So apparently it’s better for the kids whose parents can’t afford new crap twice (or more) during the school year, to do without than to take used stuff from the classroom.
Oh but lest we think there is no environmental conscience in the school system, they celebrate Earth Day every year, making cards and bookmarks and the like, out of NEW materials.
To US residents: aren’t we happy our environmental conscience extends to educating our youngest children so that the following generations know all about getting new and shiny, and jack shit about reducing, reusing and recycling?