In today’s eco-friendly world, schools are more environmentally conscious than ever before. In the midst of energy-efficient lighting and sustainable building design, recycling remains at the foundation of what it means to “go green.” With time, the traditional definition of recycling has broadened to include the concept of repurposing, or using old products in a new way.

One New Jersey high school teacher recently discovered a creative way to repurpose furniture in his school. When it was time to get rid of the library’s old wood chairs, Industrial Technology teacher Timothy Zavacki decided he could use them for more than just scrap lumber. After researching, Zavacki developed a project to turn the chairs into stools.

Students disassembled the old chairs and attached shortened chair legs to existing seats. The result: durable and attractive stools, new furniture built using old materials. The school put the stools to use in the library and preschool.

Many others have found artistic and functional ways to repurpose old school furniture. These ideas are great for the classroom: