Back to School Green Tips

Back to School Green Tips

Before you know it, it will be that time again when the kids dry off from summer swimming to don backpacks, lunchboxes and books once more. Why not get a jump on the mayhem now and use some of these back to school green tips to send your child into class ahead of the game.

Use old supplies first

Use old supplies first

Assess the Mess

Go through your child’s last year supplies. Although they may want to purchase shiny new materials it can be a real waste of resources. Save your money and pile up unused paper, intact crayons, pencils and pens as well as backpacks that are not damaged, glue that is still half full and scissors in working order.

The Green Lunch Box

Paper and disposable plastic lunch bags are green no-no’s. Keep an eye out for non-toxic material lunch boxes made of sustainable substances such as bamboo and stainless steel. Indian designed stainless steel Tiffin stacking containers are a wonderfully designed eco-friendly choice that will definitely raise some impressed eyebrows.

Water Bottles

According to National Geographic’s ‘Water Bottle Pollution Facts’, 29 billion bottles of water are purchased annually using 17 million barrels of crude oil to produce which could otherwise fuel 1 million cars, for one year. Use a non-toxic water bottle for your child’s lunch looking for recycled aluminum, paint/plastic-less and eco insulated designs (see greenhome.com for a full list of safe, back to school friendly water bottles).

Clothing Exchange

If you are close with your neighbors why not form a back to school clothing exchange. Many kids ask for a new wardrobe this time of year when perfectly good clothes can be taking up dressers all around you. Before you donate your child’s outgrown items, hand them over to a younger neighbor and vice-versa. Make sure they are clean and not too worn.

Bike It

Bikes are the greenest choice of transport. Once your child becomes of age to be able to ride a bicycle responsibly, make sure they have a sturdy lock and helmet and get them riding themselves to school. This will save gas, time and add to their sense of independence. If you must drive to school, set up a neighborhood carpool

Summer Arts and Crafts

To sway your child away from the advertising onslaught of tempting yet unnecessary back to school items, why not take a few summer hours and decorate the materials you salvaged from last year’s school supplies. Adorn a used backpack with fun marker designs, paste trinkets and such on perfectly good binders or create a row of personalized bookmarks from recycled cardboard.

Reduce Electronic Overload

Now that children need to power their school electronics, save on electricity overload and purchase rechargeable batteries and/or a smart power strip like the Ecostrip. The power strip automatically stops electricity flow without having to unplug the unit.

These back to school green tips should get you moving into the school year guilt free. Keep an eye on unnecessary waste and your offspring will surely follow.

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