green back-to-school planning…
the 3 R’s, reduce, reuse, recycle

Back to School

Get some green in your kids! No, we don’t mean getting them to eat their kale, though that’s a great idea. We mean changing up your back-to-school plans to make them just a little more green. It’s still hot outside and kids are enjoying the last days of summer before they have to start packing bags and hitting the books. Send them back to school in eco style with a few tips.

In the Classroom

  • Getting there
    If you live close enough, walk or bike to school instead of riding the bus or carpooling. It’s great exercise and the greenest choice. If that’s just not an option, the bus is the next best bet, followed by a carpool.
  • Lunch time
    Packing your child’s lunch means healthier choices and more control over the food they eat. It’s also an opportunity to get some green going. Shop around for insulated lunch boxes or bags made from recycled materials. Look into reusable wrappers and utensils to reduce trash.
  • Reuse it
    How many things from last year can you reuse? Organize a supply swap with other parents. It’s a great chance to let kids get some fresh and new-to-them supplies, and trade for things you don’t have from last year.
  • Bag it
    If it’s time to get a new backpack, skip the big-box-store and look for a more sustainable option. Messenger bags made from reclaimed inner tubes are hot right now. They’re also incredibly durable and very green. You can also find backpacks made from recycled plastic.

In the Dorm room

  • Buy used
    Going for used books isn’t just cost effective, it’s also green. Buying used means less paper waste, less landfill waste and less energy in printing and materials.
  • Incredible edibles
    Noodles are a staple of college life. So is pizza and other not-so-good-for-you foods. Encourage a little eco-responsibility with easy-to-care-for dishware that’s perfect for college life. Natural ceramic noodle bowls and plastic plates made from recycled materials will keep your student happy, healthy and green.
  • Light it up
    Send your student off with a care package of CFL or LED light bulbs. Make sure to check out their dorm lighting first, and any lamps they’re taking with them, then opt for energy-efficient bulbs in natural daylight colors to help combat eye fatigue while saving a bundle in energy.
  • Go local
    Encourage your college-bound student to find the local farmer’s market and stock up on fresh, locally-grown fruits for late-night snacks.

From kindergarten to grad school, there are so many easy opportunities to get a little green going. Even just a few, small green choices can make a big impact, but it’s not all about the planet. Making eco-friendly back-to-school choices is about education. By modeling environmentally smart behavior and encouraging greener choices, you’re equipping your student with the most important thing of all – a lifelong habit of being eco-conscious and aware of their own impact on the planet and its resources. And that’s an education that will serve them a lifetime.

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