It’s almost time for back-to-school preparations once again, but before you hit the stores take a moment to read our green guide to back to school shopping! Going green doesn’t have to mean big bucks. You can reduce your impact on the environment and still be economical with these fun ideas for eco-friendly school supplies.
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
It may be a new school year, but does that mean everything has to be new? Before you start purchasing all new items, take stock of what your kids still have that can be reused. You might find that they have plenty of pens, paper, crayons, etc. that still have life in them!
Another great way to recycle school supplies is to organize a neighborhood swap with friends and other local families. You might find that your kids have more pens than they really need which could help someone else out.
Reducing unnecessary buying is the most effective way to cut spending and the best way to reduce your impact on the environment.
Choose Sustainable School Supplies
When you do have to buy replacement items, then try to choose environmentally friendly school supplies. Opt for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified pencils made from sustainable wood, crayons free from petroleum, and notebooks made from recycled, chlorine-free paper.
Photo courtesy of bentolunchbox.com
Plastic Free Lunch Boxes
Traditional kids lunch boxes are made from plastic which can contain harmful chemicals. A safer, greener alternative to plastic lunch boxes is stainless steel. Bento boxes are a popular option currently and they encourage less food waste, so it’s a win-win!
Eco-Friendly Lunch Wraps and Snack Bags
Instead of wrapping sandwiches and snacks in plastic wrap or plastic sandwich bags, use beeswax. Not only are they reusable but they won’t leach harmful chemicals into the food or environment when they are disposed of.
Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles are one of the worst offenders polluting the planet. Not only do they end up in landfills contributing to climate change and in our oceans, killing marine wildlife, but they can also leach chemicals into the water we drink. Stainless steel refillable water bottles are a much safer and eco-friendly option, reducing chemical exposure, waste, and saves you money!
Before you go shopping, check that exist backpack and see if it can be reused for one more year! Buying a good quality backpack that will last for years is a great way to save money and cut down on waste. There are plenty of affordable eco-friendly and sustainable backpacks out there, but the main thing is to avoid backpacks made with vinyl.
With just a few simple changes and some forward thinking, you can make back to school a sustainable process that doesn’t cost the earth or the planet!