For many families, Labor Day Weekend marks the last homework-free weekend until the holidays, or even next summer! Whether or not school is in session in your neighborhood, these few tips below will help get back into a green school year groove – to benefit the environment, and your wallet.
- Reuse whenever possible. Have your child carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the water fountain during the day; we like the Platypus because it folds flat in a backpack when empty. Pack school lunches in a reusable lunchbox rather than a paper bag, with durable (not disposable) utensils, and try to avoid using single-serve snack packages.
- Look for sporting equipment that’s already broken in. Is there a Play It Again Sports in your neighborhood? They may have a baseball glove, lacrosse stick or helmut that fits your child perfectly and costs half the price. If you have siblings, even better; hand-me-downs are always green!
- Consider green backpack options. If last year’s backpack is still in good condition, it’s surely just as stylish to cart around books and lunch this year! If your child insists on buying a new one, consider green options like the Keen Daypack made from repurposed materials.
- Walk, bike or carpool. Walk your kids to and from school, encourage them to ride a bicycle or organize a carpool (if distance is a factor). Use the same transportation method for extracurricular events and activities. It’s good for the environment, and for your health!
- Eat healthy and local. The greenest snacks for both home and school are those that don’t require packaging, like apples, bananas, peaches and oranges. Buying local produce that’s in-season is also better for the planet, and buying snacks in bulk for school lunches requires less packaging — if you use reusable containers.
What are some of the green things you and your family are doing? We’d love to hear about them!