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How Groovy Lab in a Box Goes Green

Do you encourage your STEMists to live a “greener” lifestyle?

Whether you are a parent who homeschools your children or a teacher with a classroom of STEMists, teaching children to be eco-friendly and environmentally aware can build lifelong habits that may protect the future of our planet. Groovy Lab in a Box has a mission to be environmentally conscious when planning the supplies and producing the packaging for its monthly-themed science kit. In fact, we try to include green activities to instill an eco-friendly mindset among our STEMists.

How Groovy Lab in a Box Goes Green

“We are always looking for ways to decrease our carbon footprint, directly or indirectly, through our packaging and supplies for our monthly themes,” said Katy McCracken, product development specialist for Groovy Lab in a Box.

McCracken says she is a “recyclaholic” when it comes to using materials of any kind.  “I am so pleased that Team Groovy Lab in a Box is continuously working to create a product that is recyclable, reusable or compostable,” says McCracken.  “For example, STEMists will notice a change in the size of their lab notebook—a measure to reduce waste and cut down on the weight of the product, ultimately affecting our carbon footprint.”

A Groovy Green Box

STEMists can count on the Team Groovy Lab in a Box to have considered the environment with each box they receive.  Many STEMists don’t realize that there is more to the friendly, retro Groovy Lab in a Box packaging than meets the eye. First, our lab notebooks are 100% recyclable and biodegradable because they are printed with inks that use vegetable oil as its base.

Additionally, our boxes are made with 100% recycled content with a varying percentage of post-industrial and post-consumer waste.  Our boxes don’t stop there—Groovy boxes are 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable because they are printed with water-based inks. These inks are non-toxic, lead-free and do not contain any heavy metals.

Going Green With Our Supplies

Keep on Turning

“Keep on Turning” groovy box

Many of the supplies included in our science kits are also eco-friendly. For example, the Keep on Turning themed box includes sugar cane bowls.  Intended as a supply for a water wheel activity, the bowls are made from 100% renewable and reclaimed resources. Sugarcane fiber products are BPI-certified compostable and a strong alternative to traditional plastic or polystyrene.

Groovy Eco-Activities

Porch Swing Platform Bird Feeder

“For The Birds” Porch Swing Bird Feeder

In addition to our supplies, we teach about the environment through our blog posts and monthly investigations. In our Groovy and Simple Water Experiments for STEMists blog post, Team Groovy included a Give a Hoot. Don’t Pollute! section presenting STEMists with a challenging experiment on how to clean polluted water.  And, in the For the Birds groovy box, STEMists are presented with an Engineering Design Challenge to design and build a bird feeder that meets the survival needs of local birds using upcycled materials.  The activity prompts STEMists to investigate types of birds in their local area, the bird’s drinking and feeding habits, and what types of bird feeder structures best suit them.

Be sure to check out our cool, retro style Groovy Lab in a Box for the STEMists in your life!  Groovy Lab in a Box contains hours of exciting and fun scientific challenges, many including information and challenges that teach them to be responsible for the planet we live on—the perfect gift for any STEMist!

12 Ways to Recycle a Groovy Box

What do you do with your Groovy Lab in a Box once your STEMists have completed the monthly themed activity?  Teach your STEMists about the importance of recycling and reusing materials by finding new ways to use the Groovy box.

12 Ways to Recycle a Groovy Box

Below are 12 fun and groovy ways to repurpose your cool retro-style Groovy Lab in a Box

1. Make a Diorama.  Use your box as a creative STEMist summer project by making a diorama using the theme, “My Summer Vacation.” Or, save your box for an upcoming school diorama project.

2. Use as a Shoebox.  Our Groovy Lab in a Box packaging is an excellent way to keep your STEMists’ shoes in tip-top shape and an awesome way to organize your closet!

3. Make Wall Shelves. Paint or decorate our packaging to create unique and inexpensive wall shelving that you can use to store light weight knick knacks such as a small picture frame or flower vase.

4. Create a Memory Box.  Cover the box with decorative scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, or masking tape.  Then, when your STEMists experience something cool or unusual, ask them to write that event on a piece of paper.  The STEMist should then fold the paper and place it in the box.  At the end of the month, at the end of the year, or anytime your STEMists are in need of cheering up, recommend they pull out their memory box to read some of their favorite memories.

5. Make a Sailboat. Cut off the front flap of your groovy box, and then cut into thirds.  Take one of the third pieces and fold into the shape of a number 2. Tape the bottom edges of the 2 shape together, and then crinkle to make a C shape. Place a piece of tape down the back to hold. Place your groovy sailboat and let the wind blow.  Groovy Sailboat VIDEO: Groovy Sail Boat.  

12 Ways to Recycle a Groovy Box

 6. Gift Box.   Our boxes are great for packaging a gift.  Just place your gift in the box, and wrap it with wrapping paper or make it more fun and colorful with the Sunday comic strip section.

7. Covered Map Box.  Use an old map to cover the Groovy box to use as storage for your folded maps, or to store office supplies and other items.  This project is great for an office and a fun way to display a practical-use storage box.

8. Charging Station.  Cut several holes large enough to pull a charger cord through to connect with your mobile devices. Wrap the box with decorative paper or fabric for a more sophisticated look.

9. Photo Storage.  Decorate to your liking and use the box for storing and organizing your photo prints. Remember to label the box for easy identification!

10. Ribbon Dispenser.  Similar to the charging station (above), a ribbon dispenser is ideal for crafters or holiday gift wrapping.  Cut one or two holes, depending on the size of ribbon spools you have, on each short side of the box.  Starting outside of the box, insert the wooden skewers through the ribbon spools inside the box.  Then, cut holes and use grommets for decoration; thread your ribbons through the grommets for easy ribbon measuring and cutting.  Again, decorate the box to fit your room decor.

11. Sock Drawer Organizer. Use a straight-edge blade to cut the top off the Groovy box.  Then cut pieces to use as dividers inside the remaining box piece.  Insert the dividers and place pairs of socks in the box for easy access!  Save one divider space to add a favorite sachet or dryer sheet to keep your clothing freshly scented.

12. Store your Groovy Lab Notebook. Finally, for prosperity— keep one Groovy box to store all of your Groovy Lab in a Box custom designed lab notebooks that has all your STEMists’ engineering design challenges!

To encourage your STEMists’ engineering minds, become a Groovy Lab in a Box subscriber and receive your Groovy box that you can use to complete all the DIY projects mentioned above!

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