Five tips to “go green” for “back to school”!

The sumback 2 schoolmer is dwindling… it’s the countdown to the “end”… sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  But this is truly my least favorite time of year.  Sure the weather is wonderful and there is so much fun to be had, but I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to send my kids back to school.  I actually happen to be a mom who loooves to have my kids at home!

But school time is looming and it’s time to prepare. So, while you’re prepping your list (the long list!) of everything they need, keep these tidbits in mind to help keep it on the green side:

  • Check your “stock” – you may already have supplies at home; some may even be leftover from last year, so check carefully before you buy.
  • Look for recycled content – notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders and even backpacks… there are lots of options out there made from recycled content, so be wise when you choose. Also, choose paper, paperboard or canvas over plastics.citiznpp kit
  • Waste-free lunches – plan to pack your kids’ lunches with reusable lunch kits like those from Kids Konserve or Citizen Pip.  Also, opt for reusable containers, bottles, real silverware and cloth napkins over anything single-use or disposable, and make sure everything is BPA-free.
  • Backpacks and totes – as exciting as it seems to purchase new every year, convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable.  If you can, also steer them away from something “character” based, so when they outgrow the character you don’t feel forced into a replacement. And when you do need to replace one, consider donating the outgrown version and make sure the new one is PVC-free.
  • Clothes – we all know how quickly kids grow, but the bigger they get the slower they grow.  Take a little time for a “try-on” session.  If it’s not outgrown, no need to replace it just yet.  When it no longer fits, be sure to donate everything to organizations that provide clothing to those in need.  Even consignment shops and sales or swaps are great resources for giving or getting items that still have usefulness.

Whether yoschoolbusu get teary-eyed at the idea of sending your kids back to school, or the first day couldn’t come soon enough (I will be a teary-eyed one!) be sure to earn a “green star” for your efforts before they go!

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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

There are so many more facets of going green in the modern day, and the definition of the term reaches far beyond simple recycling. But going green isn't just about installing solar panels on your rooftop... it's about all the little choices that make the biggest difference. From food choices, to cleaning your home, to saving money on your monthly utility bills and consumption; the choices are vast.

However, there is a popular misconception that "going green" will "cost you green." We're inundated with green products, eco-friendly formulas, organics and mountains of options, making it seem that going green is an investment rather than an opportunity.

Well, I'm here to help dispel that myth and actually show you all of the ways you can live green, keep your family healthy, and benefit the environment without sacrificing anything, including your money.

When you make wise choices to gain the most benefit, relieve the burden on the environment, and save money to use elsewhere, everyone wins. You've already taken the first step. You've come here for help to make it happen.

Put these tips into action, and you will soon find that you can "save green" while you "go green"!

8 thoughts on “Five tips to “go green” for “back to school”!

  1. I vividly remember the back-to-school rush and the consumer-driven trend to “buy” more stuff when the kids return to September routines. This is an optimal teaching moment……. help your children learn to think about what’s really needed before purchasing anything. We kept backpacks for years (investing in sturdy ones to begin with), and we had a big drawer for storing all the writing and drawing implements. Amazing what you “don’t” need when you see it all piled up in one place!

    Keeping the green theme in mind, remember to check product specifications. Are the purchases you make “safe” for your kids. Are you considering school supplies made from recycled materials? Have you talked to your kids about greening their back-to-school preparations? Great opportunity for learing!
    .-= Melissa King´s last blog ..End of Summer Roundup =-.

  2. Craftzine.com and other DIY sights explain how to make back packs out of old Tshirts andf other materials. If an item is still funtional but not to the kids “tastes” consider customising hand me down or out of style items. Diposible pens are not recyclable some sources say. But options for refills may exist if a little online leg work is done. Terracycle sells upcycled back packs in places like Walmart. They are the bags made of drink boxes or cookie boxes sewed into the design.

  3. Pingback: » Does organic food taste better? - Mom Goes Green

  4. While I am in complete agreement that it’s best to begin “back-to-school” knowing what we have in the house already, and using things we already own, if you are interested in buying new supplies, I wanted to give a particularly hearty shout-out to a green company I love. Eco-Kids is a mom-run, small company that makes natural art supplies that are environmentally friendly and kid-safe. If you do have to buy art supplies this year, they are a great company to keep in mind.

  5. “convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable”….may be a good post topic! I don’t remember as a child getting all brand new supplies every school year with a new lunch and school bag. The status- que amongst school children today makes parenting a very expensive job! I try to pick my battles and a new school supplies ranks low, but you’ve made some very good points. Donating the old stuff is a happy medium.

    Suzanne

  6. Melissa – I agree with everything!
    Poet – great suggestions… thanks!
    Amy – hmmm? do you have anything to ‘do’ with Eco-Kids??? :)
    Suzanne – I am definitely an advocate for donating as an alternative… there are tons of organizations that will happily accept them.

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