School days. They’re out there looming on the horizon…striking fear in the hearts of all boys and girls (and many parents!!). Even though we’re still in the summer months, it’s time to think about returning to the classroom the eco-friendly way. Along with your kids, take these next few weeks to plan out the different ways you’ll make this school year an especially green one. To get started, we’ve got a few tips to get you in the sustainable school spirit!
Reuse Old School Supplies: While your kids might be eager to run out and purchase a new supply of notebooks, folders, colored pencils, pens and pencils, take the opportunity to teach them about the importance of using what you already have, rather than throwing away perfectly functioning products and materials. Explain that by disposing of half-used notebooks or slightly used pencils, we contribute to the depletion of ancient forests and the increase of carbon emissions (each year, 535 million trees are destroyed and 12 billion gallons of oil are used to produce the pencils and paper Americans consume annually).
You can even repurpose partially used items to create perfectly practical products: take all the old pieces of paper that only have something written on one side and binder clip them together to create a notepad for scratch paper.
Buy Biodegradable: Once all your notebooks have been filled out and you absolutely must purchase new stock, look for eco-friendly items that are less-toxic, contain recycled content or are recyclable, remanufactured or reusable. You can also download the Green School Supplies Directory for a specific list of what is safe for the environment.
Ditch the Brown Bag: Get rid of all those brown, paper lunch sacks and the plastic baggies, too. When packing lunches this school year, send your kids off with a reusable lunch bag or box filled with food and drink containers that can be washed and used again and again throughout the school year. Not only do all the juice boxes and plastic and paper bags add up in cost, but they will also pile up in landfills for years to come.
For more green living ideas, tips and information throughout the school year, stay connected to the Just Energy website and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!