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Smart Ideas for Back-To-School

Within the next few weeks millions of children (and adults) will be forced to say goodbye to summer and head back to school. As much of challenge it is transition from summer mode to school mode, I find back to school preparations and shopping particularly tasking. Even when sticking to the list of absolute necessities considerately provided by my teachers, I always wonder if I am making the right decisions, ecologically and financially. Below I have compiled a list of tips for students and parents who want to make  eco-friendly decisions when heading back to school.

Shopping for Supplies

-Before going shopping check to see if you already have supplies around the house of left over from last year. There is no need to buy things you already own.

-Buy canvas and cardboard binders and folders instead of plastic.

-Refillable pens are a great way to reduce plastic waste.

-Instead of buying mechanical pencils made from plastic, opt for mechanical pencils made from recyclable materials like newsprint and canvas.

-Buy pencils made from re-used material

-Consider the quality of the notebook and binder paper you buy. Instead of opting for the cheapest quality instead consider options that are recycled or chlorine free.

-Instead of buying backpacks and lunch bags made from nylon and plastics try organic options made from recycled rubber or hemp. You can also find lightly used backpacks at yard sales or flea markets.

-Get organized and plan to take only one shopping trip to save on gas.

While in School

-Remember to recycle paper instead of throwing it in the trash.

- If you don’t need it, don’t print it.

-When packing lunch use reusable packaging and utensils. Use a lunch box instead of new paper bags every day.

- When covering school books opt for recyclable and reusable options.

- Use reusable water bottles and tap water instead of plastic.

-Ride your bike or walk to school.

-Turn off your computer/unplug electronics when not in use.

Kid with Idea via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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