With the summer coming to a close, school is going to be back in session (if it’s not already for a few of you)! Each year, parents and students get their somewhat lengthy supply lists, and it’s time to start shopping! However, if you’ve been teaching your children about recycling and living a more sustainable lifestyle in the home, it’s time to take that knowledge to the outside world! The first place being SCHOOL! What are some ways you can set a good example, and also help out the environment with your back-to-school choices? We’ve got you covered.
Ways to get eco-friendly this school year:
- Check your school supply inventory before investing in more: When you get your annual school supply list, check your inventory before buying more supplies. We’re often likely to have a stash of unused notebooks, pens, or even backup supplies that remained untouched during the year. If you have any students at home, or do any office work yourself, you’re more than likely to have some spare items around the house…How many times have you cleaned up and found pens you’ve lost?
- If your budget permits, use eco-friendly school supplies: There are so many school supplies that can be more eco-friendly. Items such as paper, pencils, crayons, backpacks, and notebooks all have more green alternatives. If you’re looking for a place to start, here is a list provided by Wonder Mamas.
- Pack a lunch: If you’ve ever attended an American school, you’re probably well aware that the food can be comically poisonous (figuratively speaking, somewhat). Did your school have some sort of mystery meat? Or was the cafeteria food on par with the kind you find in a prison? Instead of eating the food provided by your local education system, consider packing a lunch. On one hand, you’ll know exactly where your food comes from (and it will more than likely taste better). On the other hand, you’ll probably save money since you won’t have to use lunch money for mediocre meals.
- Utilize a reusable water bottle: Since every school is armed with water fountains, get a reusable bottle to fill up! You won’t have to constantly spend on bottled water, and you’ll reduce your plastic waste.
- Consider buying second-hand clothes for “new” wardrobes: When it comes to “Back to School” season, we always want to shop for new clothes for ourselves and/or our children. However, shopping second-hand is a more sustainable option. Since children tend to grow fast anyway, how about shopping at thrift stores? Especially if your child’s school requires uniforms, (which often won’t be used outside of school) second-hand is the best way to go.
- If you live near your school, walk or bike: If you live close to your school, save gas by walking or biking to your destination. It will also help get in that morning workout!
- Buy reused technology: As well know, new technology can be expensive. Depending on the student’s grade level, or course of study, price points for new tech may vary. However, if you can go used, do so! Devices such as calculators, tablets, and even laptops can easily be found online or at second hand stores.
- Buy used textbooks: This applies more to college students, but it’s pretty common knowledge that textbook prices are outrageous. Not to mention that textbooks update often update to new editions, so it can be hard to keep up or even sell them. Websites such as Chegg and Amazon are great for finding used textbooks. Or better yet, join any social media groups for your school to see if any students are selling their old textbooks. Depending on how many books you need, you can save HUNDREDS of dollars. If you’re not interested in physical copies of books, you can also opt for e-books of your required textbooks when possible.
We’re looking forward to a new school year, and we hope it’s a great one! Cheers to education!