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Going back to school – the green way

I got an email this morning about a sale at one of the big office supply stores on school supplies. Fall is quickly approaching and with it, to the chagrin of many children, the first day of school.

August is the time of year when we start buying all of next year’s school supplies, backpacks, pencils, lunch boxes, and school clothes to name a few. The average American family with school-aged kids will spend $594.24 on school supplies.

So, in the spirit of back-to-school shopping, we offer these tips on how to green your children’s backpacks this year!

  1. Take inventory of last year’s supplies and avoid buying duplicates. If that ruler is still in one piece and the bottle of glue is still full, it’s a few less dollars to spend!
  2. Go Green on school clothes. Vintage is in! Try checking out thrift stores and re-sale stores like Buffalo Exchange first. Then, if you can’t find what you’re fashonista is looking for, go for high-quality choices that last, made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo. While these choices do tend to be a little pricier, going for higher quality means that they’ll last longer than just to spring break.
  3. Choose Greener Pens and Pencils. Believe it or not, nearly 6 billion pens get thrown away in the US every year. Pick up some biodegradable pencils, refillable pens, or the recycled version of your favorite writing implement.
  4. Beware of Supply Overload. Be cautious around those bulk deals. Even as an avid crafter I never needed a dozen bottles of glue. One or two usually did the trick for my macaroni masterpieces.
  5. Lunchtime! Don’t brown bag it, check out some of the great washable, reusable, and insulated lunch boxes. There are so many cool ones out there now with a million different colors, styles, and patterns. No longer are we limited to plastic cubes with superhero’s, there’s a lunch bag out there for everyone.  And finally….
  6. Walk, bike, or take the bus to school. While this is certainly not possible for everyone, walking or biking to school is a great way to green your school year. If you live too far away, take the bus or start a carpool with other families in your neighborhood!

Have a great year!


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