The time has come to start preparing to send the kids back to school, which means buying supplies, updating clothing, and planning lunches. It also means you have a great opportunity to teach your kids about how to help with a clean environment. There are lots of things you can do together as a family to reduce, reuse, and recycle many of the items necessary for school.
Start by going through everything you currently have that can still be used for school this year. For example, are there school supplies you already have and don’t need to buy? Are there clothes that still fit and are in good condition? Then, make a list of what you will actually need to find or purchase before school starts. You can also donate the supplies you have, but won’t use, to local schools or libraries.
Clothing Swap or Second-Hand Store
Clothing is one of the items on our lists that we tend to spend the most money on, and a great area to reuse or recycle old items. Many communities or schools have something called a “clothing swap,” where you can bring in old items you won’t be using anymore and trade them for items others have brought in. You can also check out local second-hand stores for clothing items that are gently used and still in great condition.
Choose Recycled & Eco-Friendly Supplies
Many of the school supplies your child will need can be found using recycled materials, or non-toxic ingredients that won’t harm the environment. Whenever possible, try to choose from these items to cut down on unnecessary waste and harmful materials.
Another great way you and your kids can help with a clean environment during back to school time is by organizing a neighborhood carpool. There is no need for multiple cars on the road when you are all going to the same place anyway, and it will help put fewer emissions into the air. You can also opt to walk or ride bikes to school if you live fairly close.
Reusable Lunch Boxes
If your child prefers to eat food brought from home, make sure you are sending them with lunch boxes and water bottles that can be used over and over. Try to avoid bags, wrappers, and other items that will only be used once and then thrown into the garbage. As a bonus, this will save you money in the long run, and if you are packing whole foods that don’t come prepackaged, your child will also be healthier.
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