Trash to Treasure: Reusing Office Supplies in Classrooms

Trash to Treasure: Reusing Office Supplies in Classrooms

As WithersRavenel transitions from physical records to digital ones, we increasingly find ourselves with boxes (and boxes) of paper on our hands. In many instances, these old files are shredded and recycled. But one enterprising employee had a better idea: what if, instead of sending our unwanted papers out and hoping they get a second life, we found a more immediate way to reuse them? After speaking with one kindergarten teacher at Powhatan Elementary School in Clayton, NC, we realized that our extra file folders offered a wealth of creative possibilities for the school’s teachers, who often have to supplement small budgets with their own funds to outfit their classrooms with supplies for the students.

Our Wilmington office led the charge on this reuse initiative, separating standard and hanging file folders from other papers as they were digitizing and archiving their files. They donated approximately 1,000 standard file folders in blue, red, yellow, and green and 500 hanging file folders in beige to the Powhatan Elementary School kindergarten teacher team. The teachers found a host of creative ways to re-purpose them, which they were kind enough to share with us:

“We are so grateful to WithersRavenel for your donations this school year. Our kindergarten team was able to use the hanging files to organize our book room so that the materials are easier to access. Your discarded file folders were cut into 8½” x 11″ sheets of card stock that we copy homework games on for our kids. The smaller pieces of card stock are used to make bulletin board letters and other crafts. We even used the folders to cut decorations for the end of year frames we gave our children. Thanks for allowing us to make your trash into our treasure! With gratitude, The Powhatan Elementary Kindergarten Teachers.”

We’re so glad we were able to support such a deserving group of people. As we continue to streamline our offices, we will be looking for more creative ways to reuse our unneeded office supplies and mitigate our environmental footprint.