Another summer has come and gone, and most students are heading back to school. (Not mine … my husband starts back after Labor Day, and we’ll tailor our home schooling schedule to that.)
To me, memories of back-to-school include shopping and a host of brand new things – Trapper Keepers, pencil boxes, school supplies, book bags, underwear, and a couple outfits.
Here are five simple suggestions any family can implement that do make a difference:
1. Reuse paper.
Do you have lots of blank paper left in last year’s notebooks? Don’t forget about it – use it. And when students bring home lots of paperwork with printing on just one side, use it for scrap paper. You’ll be amazed by how much paper you’ll save by drawing or printing on the back of previously used paper.
2. Reuse folders.
Recently, I visited my mom and she gave me some articles she saved in my old school folders. I remembered the folders well, even if they are at least twenty years old. I’m not sure what surprised me more – that my mom kept the folders, or that they were in amazingly great shape. Why in the world would I have needed to buy new folders the next year? It may sound simple, but if your folders are still useable, use them.
3. Reuse supplies.
Believe it or not, the crayon stash that Big Brother and Little Sister use are all of the crayons from my school days. Every September I’d get a new sixty-four pack of Crayolas (ah, I loved the smell of new crayons), and every spring the crayons were used just a bit but tossed in a metal lunch box.
The same can be said about my pencils and pens – I still use them. I think some of my pencils may be close to thirty years old. I’m sharing this story of excess to explain that I rarely needed new supplies, but always got them. If that’s the case for you and your children, save some cash and consumption by reusing what you already have. Don’t forget to reuse basic supplies like scissors and rulers, too.
4. Stick to old fashioned book covers.
Remember when book covers used to be made out of brown paper bags? Skip the plasticized book covers that are so popular, and protect textbooks with “old fashioned” paper grocery bags. If you’d like to get fancy, decorate with stickers.
5. Look for recycled products.
If you’re buying new supplies, shop for recycled paper, folders, and even pencils and pens.
What environmentally friendly back-to-school tips do you have?
For more information
Looking for ways to make your child’s back-to-school transition a healthier one? Check out Healthy Child Healthy World for ideas.
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