The beginning of autumn means the start of a new school year, marking a joyous occasion for parents and a tearful end to summer vacation for kids. In honor of this occasion, we decided to share a few tips that can make this school year your most eco-friendly to date:
- Before shopping for new school supplies, take inventory of what supplies you already have and can use again this year. Should you have to get new materials, look for things you can get the most use out of (i.e., reloadable mechanical pencils).
- Aim for packing “waste-free” lunches. This includes implementing reusable containers and utensils and minimizing use of plastic snack bags. Remember to mark all reusable items with your child’s name and contact info should it be misplaced at school so they can be returned. For more info on how to pack waste-free lunches, check out http://www.wastefreelunches.org/.
- Encourage your child to use 3 ring binders instead of spiral bound notebooks for note taking in class. Not only can binders be reused for different classes, but the binder paper can be easily removed for sorting and recycling as well.
- Use grocery bags to maker covers for textbooks. Chances are that the school reuses textbooks, and covers help keep them in good condition for years to come.
- Biking or walking to school helps keep air pollution from cars down, but gives kids a nice bit of exercise as well. Should you live far enough away from the school to walk, coordinate with other parents in the area to start carpooling.
- Work with your child’s school to promote eco-friendly activities, like starting a recycling program or a community compost bin. Programs like theses not only benefit the environment, but present learning opportunities for the children as well.