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Help McDuffie Schools make green by going green

Every day, we all eat and drink. But did you know that many of the items that we purchase to satisfy our bodies each day can help offset some of the strain on local school system's budget? And, at the same time, you can help our environment by recycling some of the items you've probably thrown away in the past.

Many of us purchase cereal, drinks, soups, snacks, even bottled water. Many of these products are included in the General Mills Box Tops for Education program. Started in 1996, the program offers 10 cents for each marked box top. What began with a handful of cereals has now spread to other items and brands, including Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Progresso, Old El Paso, Green Giant, Totino's, Ziploc, Hefty, products from Kimberly Clark , Nestle Juicy Juice, and Gold Medal products. Box Tops coupons are now found on more than 4 billion packages in grocery stores across the nation. To date this program has earned schools more than $175 million dollars.

However, it is not just box tops that can benefit local schools. For more than 30 years, the Labels for Education program has been awarding free educational equipment to schools in exchange for proofs of purchase from the Campbell family of brands. It's a fun, easy program where students, families and members of the community work together for a common goal.

Today, more than 80,000 schools and organizations are registered with Labels for Education, benefiting more than 42 million students. Over the years, we've been able to provide more than $100 million in merchandise to America's schools, simply turning UPC codes and beverage caps into the schools.

Also, Nestles Pure Life Water Bottles began a program recently for schools as well. Just peeling the labels off the water bottles and sending them to school is helping fund our schools. This program too awards free educational equipment to the schools in exchange for the labels.

A company called Terracycle is recycling and reusing items in that many of us have in our kitchens. Maybe you packed some in a lunch for yourself or your loved one. The company recycles used juice pouches, granola bar wrappers and cookie wrappers. These items too are helping to make money for our schools.

As a volunteer for our schools, I am asking for community support. Please save these items, send them to the schools with a student you know, a teacher you know, an employee you know, or just simply drop by and turn them at the front office of one of the schools.

The economy needs help, our schools need our help, and our students need our help. You can help further the education of the children of McDuffie County by making green by going green.

Web posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009

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