Going back to school doesn’t mean you have to go back to the same supplies and the same ways of doing things. Take a look at these suggestions for going back to school in “Green” style.
- Consider your transportation alternatives – Are you close enough to walk or bike with your child to school? If you’ve been driving him or her yourself, you could reduce carbon emissions by having him or her ride the bus. Carpooling is also something to consider if you have not already.
- Re-Use last year’s supplies – Several of the things on your child’s school supply list are the same as last year. And many of those can be re-used. Especially things like pencil boxes and pouches, scissors, and ring binders. You could toss the pencil box, scissors and maybe a few items in the dishwasher and they’ll be good as new. And take a look at the spiral notebooks you child brought home at the beginning of summer. I bet several just had a few pages used.
- Buy recycled, recyclable and biodegradable supplies – Look for items made with post-consumer waste. For the older kids you can get a couple of refillable pens rather than a dozen disposable ones. Take a look at this backpack made from recycled Capri Sun pouches. And here’s one made from recycled water bottles. You can also find soybean crayons, potato starch glue, and bamboo rulers… to name a few! The Ultimate Green Store has a school supply section in their online store. And if you’re an Amazon fan, you can find several eco-friendly school supplies.
- Think Green when packing lunch – Fortunately most people are using reusable lunch bags and boxes now instead of paper sacks. But we should also think about what we’re putting in those bags and boxes. Make sure you have right-sized reseal-able containers, mason jars and bottles to hold the kid-size portions that you’ll be sending to school.
- Eco- and vintage clothing – Buying new clothes is one of the coolest things about going back to school. You don’t have to give up good style to be eco-friendly. Look for fabrics that are hand-dyed and/or made from organic cotton. Linen is also a good option as well as fabrics made from recycled materials. You and your kids might also get a kick out of shopping at some resale or vintage clothing stores. You could make your budget go further allowing them to buy a few extra items.
- Buy used books – If you have to purchase books find out if used copies are available. You’ll save loads of money and have a part in reducing waste and cutting down on environmental impacts from manufacturing.
Going back to school in green style doesn’t have to break the bank. You just have to think outside the pencil box!
Check out my Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Pinterest Board for more ideas.