The summer 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.
- 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 you 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!