Somehow it’s almost back-to-school time once again and that means your kids will need new supplies for the new year. But before you head out to add to the estimated $83-billion spent on back-to-school shopping this fall, here’s how you can make the whole experience easier on the planet and your wallet.
- Think before you buy all those new notebooks and folders - Chances are your kids have leftover notebooks they didn’t finish off last year, so tear out and recycle the used pages and let them use the rest to start the year off. And when it’s time to get new ones, there are eco-friendly options like Sustainable Earth sugarcane notebooks and folders made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, so you can save some trees.
- Reuse backpacks - Instead of running out to get a new backpack every school year, play around with fabric paint, patches, or stickers to spruce up last year’s. And when you do need a new one, consider getting one from places that offer a lifetime guarantee, like Patagonia and JanSport.
- Go for a PVC-free binder - If you want to avoid PVC, a plastic that lingers for decades in the environment and has been linked to health concerns, check out alternatives from Naked Binders that are made from earth-friendly materials like wood and recycled plastic.
- Make lunchtime more sustainable - You can skip those single-use items, like plastic baggies and water bottles, in kids’ lunches if you have the right essentials. A small reusable water bottle and reusable bags made of silicone that can hold snacks and sandwiches go great with a plastic-free lunch box and they’re kinder to Mother Earth.
- Be mindful of tossing last year’s stuff - Don’t just throw old school supplies in the trash if you can recycle them. Elmer's will take old glue sticks for you and TerraCycle will take used pens, pencils, and markers.
Source: Mind Body Green