Summer is drawing to a close and it’s about that time…to head back to school! Whether you’re bummed out about the end of summer, or thrilled that your kids will be out of your hair – er, embarking on their next academic journey – make sure you’re sending them back to the classroom with plenty of respect for the environment. Here are some super easy, eco-friendly ways to get ready for back to school.
- Search for School Supplies: Instead of buying new pencils, crayons, and notebooks, search your house for slightly used supplies that will work just as well as new materials. You can even make a treasure hunt out of it for your kids!
- Buy Earth-Friendly Gear: If you do need to purchase a few new things, make sure to choose items that are non-toxic and/or made from recycled materials. So many items marketed to children are manufactured with chemicals (such as PVC) that can cause serious health problems. When shopping for backpacks, binders, lunch boxes and thermoses, look for the PVC-free label.
- Pack Green Lunch Bags: Instead of stocking up on brown bags, invest in a reusable, washable lunch tote. And ditch the plastic baggies! Use non-disposable snack and sandwich bags or eco-friendly mason jars.
- Plan a Greener Route: If you live close enough and the route is safe, plan for your children to ride their bikes to school. Or, map out a walking route that you can take each morning. If you live farther away, seek out classmates who live nearby to start a carpool.
- Thrift New Clothes: Why buy more expensive clothes that your kids will soon outgrow? Instead, purchase a few choice, new-to-you items from secondhand and vintage stores. Your preteens will LOVE all the classic band tees and worn-in jeans! Check out our past post on taking the thrift store by storm.
- Buy Used Books: If your child’s school requires students to buy their own textbooks, a quick online search of the book titles will most likely yield some eco-friendly and inexpensive results. Rent or buy used textbooks instead of purchasing new ones and you’ll be saving quite a few trees over the course of your children’s school careers.
Whether school’s in or out, live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by following the Just Energy blog for more green living tips, information and ideas. And make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Your kids, the planet and your carbon footprint will thank you!