September is here! This means back to school for thousands of kids! There is certainly a lot of organization and preparation that goes on at this time of year, so we’ve given you 5 ways to green your back to school routine and head back to class in an eco-friendly way. You’ll save some energy and money while making our world a better place to live in!
1. Re-use your backpack and lunch box from last year. There’s no need to spend money on new items and create waste when your existing ones still have use. Same with supplies. Go through your school bags from last year and re-use everything you can. When buying, go for recycled paper products (notebooks, printer paper, agendas) whenever possible. Earth friendly pens and pencils are also getting easier to find.
2. Get on an email list. Ask your school to e-mail newsletters. Get parents to volunteer to create the email list if the school has not already done so. You get enough paper from the school as it is! This would save the school time, effort and money.
3. Green your transportation. If you live close to school consider walking or riding bicycles to minimize on driving. Getting out in the fresh air is a great way to wake up little brains and get the blood pumping before classes start. Review safety rules beforehand, including a planned route and using bicycle helmets. For those that live further away, taking the school bus is greener than individual driving.
4. Pack a litter-less lunch! There are tons of options to choose from these days which help cut down on the use of plastic wraps and baggies, tetra juice boxes, and plastic utensils. Make sure everything in the lunchbox is re-usable and does not need to be thrown out.
5. Be a watchful consumer. Yes it’s tempting to run out now and buy all your back to school clothes and gear but consider purchases before you make them and think about waiting a few weeks to see what items are really needed. Before the end of September, retailers will put clothing and other items on sale to make room for all the winter stuff and that means sales and big savings for you!
Save time, money, and the environment… and maybe even learn a lesson about conservation and economics before the school bell rings!