As kids and teachers gear up to go back to school there are some ways we can keep our planet in mind.
Supplies: You know your kid brought home unused or barley used school supplies last year. Instead of buying brand new binders/notebooks/paper reuse whatever was leftover from last year. If the binder clips are still in good condition encourage your student to instead buy a roll of fun duct tape and "resurface" their binders. The same can be done with spiral and composition notebooks. If you have multiple notebooks that have a decent amount of paper unused in them you can also tear the paper out and use it instead of buying loose-leaf paper. Cut the frayed edges off and hole punch them if necessary.
Clothes: You can refer to the old blog about used clothes but if you can talk your kids into it getting at least some of their back to school clothes at Good Will that would be amazing! Imagine how nice it would be to only have to buy socks and underwear!
Lunches: Packing lunch is better than buying it at school. When lunch gets bought at school there is a lot of waste associated with that purchase. When packing lunch make sure to use a reusable lunchbox and ice packs. There are also not reusable storage bags for sandwiches or snacks these can be made of silicone, fabric or even compostable paper. There are also tons of small containers for things like fruits and veggies. Your student can take lunch every day and produce zero waste! This will also get them into good habits of using these products at a young age.
Paper: Have you tried to go paperless? It is not only better for the environment but it will save you some time of running to the copier, even though we all know how much you love the copier. There are so many resources online about going paperless, check them out. You might be limited with technology depending on your school, but keep in mind that much of google can be accessed on their cell phones (clearly for older kids). If you have to keep paper try to print 2 pages per sheet front and back, it might not sound like much but over the course of a year it adds up to reams of paper that are not being used.
Recycle: Regardless of how your school participates in waste management, you can have separate containers for trash and recycling. I have signs on the bins to help the kids to understand how to sort their waste. I have included them below.
Carpool: Do you live near a teacher friend who you could carpool with. Even if it is not 5 days a week, maybe just a few or even 1 day a week.
Coffee: If you stop in the mornings for coffee get a reusable cup that you like or transition to make it at home.