The new school year is upon us and with two children in Elementary school I have been trying to think of different ways to make our school year a little more eco-friendly.
Here are some ideas that we will be focusing on this year:
Clothes- We buy a lot of our clothes at local consignment sales. I try to buy brands that I know will last through two girls so that my youngest can wear the same clothes as my oldest.
Supplies- We try to reuse anything from last year that is still in good shape. Did my oldest use the 4 dozen pencils last year that were on her supply list? No, we have about 3 dozen left over from last year that we will use again. We also try to buy natural and non-toxic supplies. When shopping for supplies make sure that you check your labels and all your supplies are PVC free. This vinyl is identified as a #3 plastic or has the letters "V" or "PVC." Also look for scent-free and water based items.
Litter Free Lunches- most of the items we use to take lunch to school in are reusable. We use reusable sandwich and snack pouches, stainless steel bottles for drinks, fabric napkins, and cloth lunch bags to carry our lunches in. I also ask that they return the utensils I put in their lunches so they can be used again as well, creating less waste. If you are shopping for new lunch bags be aware that some vinyl soft plastic lunch bags still contain lead.
Travelling to and from school-We are fortunate to have our school in our neighborhood. We can choose to walk to school or take the bus. Unless there is an unforeseen circumstance we will be walking to and from school everyday.