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Monday, September 16, 2013

Ecofriendly Economics: Binder Recycling & Advice from Monks

Staples Recycling
            Now, Staples is offering an incentive to recycle your old, worn-out binders. Instead of throwing them away, take them with you to a participating Staples and turn them in. For each old binder you recycle, Staples will give you $2.00 toward a new binder that you buy from the store. Not only does this offer an outlet for binder recycling, but it allows you to save money on new office supplies! Keep in mind that the $2.00 credit can only be applied to one new binder. So, if you turn in two old binders and buy one new one, you can’t have $4.00 toward that binder. It’s $2.00 per new binder. Go to this webpage to find out more on the offer. 
            Make sure you use your office supplies for as long as you can before buying new ones. I am currently reusing my binders from my senior year in high school for my freshman year of college. They were still in usable condition, so there was no reason to discard them for new ones. The same goes with folders and unfinished packs of loose-leaf paper. I had enough loose-leaf paper left over from my senior year of high school that I didn’t have to buy new paper for college. Always keep in mind how you can reduce your consumption of goods, and subsequently, your money expenditures.

            Also, if you do decide to buy new supplies and your old supplies are still useable, consider donating them instead of trashing them or recycling them. Look into supply drives near you, or simply bag them up and drop them off at the main office of your community’s school. Teachers are always grateful for free supplies, and will most likely be able to make use of them.  
Advice from Monks
            The simple way that monks live can give us advice on how to be more environmentally friendly. Most notably, monks live with less- a lot less- than we do. A monk, as described in classic Buddhist scripture, can only have eight possessions. These include an inner robe, and outer robe, an additional robe in the event that extra protection from the elements is needed, a bowl, a water-strainer, a razor to shave their heads, a needle and thread, and any necessary medications. 
Can you imagine living with so few possessions? If you have some spare time in your day, sit down and make a list of possessions you cannot imagine your life without. Do not include things such as ‘food’ or ‘water’, instead, only include material items beyond what you need to stay alive. Also, take some time to think about how much money you spend on your material goods, and how long those goods remain in use after you’ve bought them.
To read about the other green lessons that monks can teach us based on their humble lifestyle, read this article from

Animal of the Month Update

            Tigers lead solitary lives. Both males and females have their own territories, the size of which are determined by the availability of resources. A tigress also has to take into account the needs of her cubs when determining her range. The territories of male tigers are usually much bigger than females’, and will overlap the territorial boundaries of several females to which he has breeding rights.  His range can be as large as 39 square miles, whereas the range of an average female is 7.7 square miles.

            Tigers are great swimmers and are unafraid of the water. They have been known to kill prey in and carry prey through water. They use pools to cool off on hot days, and it’s not uncommon for them to cross rivers that are four miles wide. The only other big cat known to share this aquatic ability is the jaguar. 

A captive tiger in a zoo pool


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