Eco-Friendly Back to School Tips- Good for Your Children and the Environment

More and more parents and educators today are working hard to instill the importance of taking care of our planet to children. As families and their children prepare for back-to-school, here a few eco-friendly tips to utilize throughout the school year to help support healthy children and a healthy environment:

Take an inventory of what you already have that can be used again. Avoid last-minute impulse purchases by making a list of what you can re-use and what you yet still need before heading to the store. This will save materials as well as your dollars.

Buying clothes doesn’t have to come with sticker shock! Hand-me-downs and second-hand stores are not only more eco-friendly, but also cheaper and more fun to hunt around for.

Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet – Evansville, Wisconsin

Urban Exchange Consignment, LLC – Evansville, Wisconsin

The days of disposable pens and pencils are gone, replaced by biodegradable pencils and refillable pens. Once you have greener options in hand, encourage your youngsters to hang on to each pencil until it fully wears down and to each pen as long as possible. Find ‘green’ paper, notebooks and binders. Our office pens are made from recycled materials too!

Support your community and local business owners by shopping and spending local!Don’t brown bag it; instead opt for a washable, reusable container to tote your lunch to and from. Whether buying lunch or packing, encourage children to eat as much as possible to avoid food waste.

If you don’t live close enough to walk, finding a safe bike route to school is a green way to go. School buses are also a cleaner option than single-occupancy cars. If walking, biking, or busing aren’t an option, start a parent carpool. If you do choose to drop off/pick up your child(ren) in your vehicle, do not leave it idling. This will add to the pollutants/contamination in the air. Also, turning off and restarting your vehicle after several seconds will save more on fuel/money than idling.

When preparing for school in the mornings, remind your children to turn the lights out when not in use. Teach them to turn the water off while brushing their teeth- this could save several gallons of water each day! Encourage thorough bathing and showers, but to keep them as brief as possible as to not waste water.

Keep in touch with nature during after-school hours. Evening hours can go by quickly between homework, dinner and bedtime, but don’t neglect to make time in between it all for a ball game in the yard, a walk or a bike ride. Being connected with nature will remind us to take care of nature.

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From Formecology, we wish your children a safe and happy return back to school!

(Photo above submitted by Nicole Genz)