Friday, August 19, 2011

Laminating My Way to Green Living

My husband surprised me with a laminator for my birthday this year. I never knew how happy this little machine could make me.  I've found it is an absolute necessity, especially for a homeschooling mom. And as an added bonus, it has helped us reduce our paper waste, making our family a little bit greener as well.

What can we laminate? I'm on the hunt for often-used forms and papers that can be laminated and used with dry erase markers rather than continually printing new pages. Here are some of the things I came up with so far. 

The grocery shopping list. By laminating the shopping list with columns for each section of the grocery store and hanging it on the refrigerator, not only do I ensure it doesn't get lost, but it allows me to use just one sheet, week after week, as I erase what was purchased and then add to it again. And when I happen to pick up an item or two between major shopping trips, I can easily erase them from the list. 

Rob's softball line up. As the manager of his softball team, Rob has to present a roster and line-up to the officials at the beginning of every game. By laminating it, we've eliminated the need to scratch out and change the list if someone doesn't show up for a game. A quick swipe of the finger and the line up can be changed quickly and efficiently. No more crumpled wasted paper in the dug out.

My planner pages. Anything I use daily from to-do lists and calendars to lesson plan sheets. By laminating these pages, I can stop myself from compulsive list re-writing when too many things get crossed off. This alone will save hundreds of trees.

Drawing pages for the kids. If you know my sons, you know we should own stock in a paper company. The amount of drawn-on papers that litter our floors every evening would make most cringe. I do try to limit their access and recycle as much of it as possible, but by laminating a few pages and allowing them (or at least the older one) to use dry erase markers for his masterpieces, we are doing a great thing for the environment. Then if the drawing is worth saving, I can scan it before it gets erased and it can be added to his digital art book. It saves me on storage space, too.

What other things do you use over and over again that could benefit from a little lamination?

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