I hate the ways you see waste in schools. There are the little things (like seeing the recycle bin overflowing with barely used paper) and the medium things (like having workbooks that the teachers requested they did not want being delivered to your classroom) and the big things (like having hundreds of teacher sit through a webinar with a poor connection on a math kit they did not ask for and will have to share between 6 regular classrooms and 3 special education instructors or having ineffective instructional assistants spend the day cooking a pot-luck while they should be in the classroom). There is so much waste!
It is the same feeling I get when I walk around Clifton in late August. It amazes me that people are so lazy that they will throw something still very usable away instead of taking the extra step to take it to Goodwill or a similar organization. At least put a curb alert on Craig's List!
I personally am a huge fan of thrift stores. A lot of people are surprised to know that over half of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores. It is cheaper, more fun (if in the right mood), and they often support non-profit organization. Focusing back to the classroom, my children's book collection is almost entirely thrift-store purchase and I have saved a small fortune in binders and folders to house my growing number of resources (thanks to my awesome mentor teacher). My mentor teacher and I have a strong belief that staplers were made better in the past than they are now. She found our favorite stapler at a thrift store and I am on a hunt for another one!
The bottom line to this seemingly-pointless rant is that I believe we need to look at how we are using resources before we should ask for more. There are so many ways to make better use of our money. I admire Neil Leist for implementing out-of-the-box solutions in his district. He is doing more than "go green"---he is helping provide for his students.
I am ordering a copy of his book:$uperintendent $aving $trategies. Not that I am planning on being a school superintendent (or at least not anytime soon), but I am hoping the book will give me as a future teacher some small ideas for my school and some insight on creative ways school leadership can provide for their students.