It feels like summer break just started a few days ago, can’t believe?the kids will be back to school in a couple of weeks. With that comes back-to-school preparations, like purchasing school supplies and planning lunches. School can be a challenge when it comes to reducing waste?from disposable mechanical pencils to snack-size bags of chips, plenty of wasteful products are targeted specifically towards students and us busy parents. If you get started before the rush, though, you?ll find that there are a few easy ways to help your student have a (mostly) waste-free school year.
Find school supplies that can be recycled?
If it can be wrapped in or made of plastic, it usually is. However, supplies like binders, folders, notebooks, and pencils can be made of or packaged in recyclable cardboard, and items like stainless steel scissors and rulers will last forever?it just might take a little extra searching to find them. But when it comes to saving the planet, it?s worth the time.
Focus on lunchtime
There are a few ways to introduce more eco-friendly elements into school lunchtime. A bento lunch box, water bottle, a few reusable snack bags do great for waste-free lunches. Don?t forget reusable silverware.
The gogoBags snack bags can be used for snacks like fruits, vegetables, chips, and even sandwiches. Since these bags can fit any size pocket, they are a great option for recess snack.
Shop secondhand for clothes
When kids are growing, it may seem like you?re buying them new clothes every other day. Instead of shopping at stores in the mall, which often promote fast fashion, shop at secondhand stores and thrift shops for gently used back-to-school fashion. It?s often cheaper, better for the environment, and can result in unique finds.
If you already aim for a waste-free home, it?s likely that your children have a general idea of eco-friendly principles?but do they know enough to want to incorporate those principles into their own lives? Living a different lifestyle from others, especially during the hard years of primary and secondary education, can be challenging at times. Leading by example is great, but it?s also important to teach your kids the whys of the zero waste movement so that they have strong reasons to stick with eco-friendly practices.
It may feel a bit strange to change up some of your regular back-to-school routines, but with a little practice, they will quickly start to feel normal. With a little planning and time, sending the kids back to school can easily be an environmentally friendly process.