Tips for a green school year

Green Tips | September 1, 2017

Summer has been flying by, and we’re at the time of year to start thinking about school. With all the excitement surrounding classmates, teachers, and color-coded binders, it is important to remain environmentally conscious when preparing for the new school year. According to the American Federation of Teachers, educational facilities are among the biggest waste creators in the U.S. These tips will help to ensure that this school year will be the greenest one yet.

Before you make that trip to the office supply store, double check what you already own. Binders, folders, scissors, and pencils can all be reused, and you will save money as well as paper. By making the distinction between wants and needs for the upcoming year, you can minimize your consumption and environmental footprint. For the goods that you do need to buy, keep your eyes out for recycled content paper, pencils made from sustainably-harvested wood, recycled binders, refillable pens, and refillable white board erase markers. The Green Office is an online store which offers sustainably made products.

On average, a single student creates 67 lbs of garbage every year from their lunch. There are many ways to reduce waste without even decreasing the amount of food in a lunch bag. By using canvas bags, lunch boxes, and durable plastic containers, the necessity of brown paper bags and plastic sandwich bags is reduced. Cloth napkins, reusable beverage bottles, and thermoses are also solutions to eliminate common sources of lunchtime waste. When you buy your reusable lunch bag, be wary: some vinyl lunch boxes contain lead, so you should avoid vinyl containers altogether. This article written by Parent Map lists green lunch boxes that are made for kids.

After your child is prepared with all of their back-to-school supplies, there are still other ways to go green! If your child does not take the school bus, you can join a carpool with other families to reduce the number of cars on the road and the amount of greenhouse emissions from the daily commute to school. If you cannot find a carpool to join, your school can begin using the website School administrators approve who has access to the ridesharing network so that you can organize a carpool with only other parents and approved guardians. Also check out Healthy Schools Network, Inc for more tips for a healthy, environmentally friendly school year.

This school year can be the greenest one yet with these tips!

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