This week, facts about green school supplies. As kids head back to school, paper and pencils are getting more environmentally friendly.
CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.
[MUSIC: School Days]
CURWOOD: Kids across the country are back in class again, and some of them have the latest in eco-friendly school supplies. There's a bio-degradable pen, with a cap and barrel made from corn starch. And there are pencils covered, not in wood, but in recycled denim. Among the most ingenious items: notebooks made from banana stalks left over from harvest in Costa Rica. Stalks form the truck of the banana plant and are usually thrown away after the fruit is harvested. This created a quarter of a million tons of waste in Costa Rica each year. Now, the stalks are ground to a pulp then mixed with recycled paper to make stationary, notebook and copy paper. A Japanese company has even published a children's book called, "The Miracle Banana." The slender volume on the making of banana paper is printed on, well, take a guess.
Crayons, too, can come in many colors and still be green. Some brands use non-toxic oil from soybeans instead of petroleum. Just one acre of soybeans, by the way, could produce more than 80,000 crayons, all bio-degradable, but they're still not edible. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
[MUSIC: SCHOOL DAYS]
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth