It’s the back-to-school season! The first day of school is just around the corner. School preparations are a very active period for both families and children. At the end of the holiday with sea, sand, sun and lots of fun, when the excitement of getting together with friends and starting a new semester is added, a pleasant back-to-school adventure awaits us!
Every year, families also start preparations to complete the school supplies—new notebooks, backpacks, textbooks, colourful stationery, school clothes, lunchboxes and more.
No matter how fun it may sound to get lost in the colourful shelves of the stationery world with long shopping lists, we think this preparation process is a perfect opportunity to instil a love of nature in your children and convey environmental awareness to them.
While shopping, start guiding them about conscious consumerism by explaining why you prefer the product you have chosen or why there is no need for a brand-new bag. Moreover, you can protect your children from many stationery products that contain plastic and toxic components!
Discover ways to reduce, reuse and recycle with the eco-friendly school prep guide.
Check the materials in your home before shopping
Before purchasing new products, check the previous year’s leftovers, then take stock of what you already own and reuse what you have. Partially-filled notebooks, school supplies or textbooks used by older siblings, old lunchboxes or backpacks that just need a bit of cleaning. With your child, you can group what you have according to their usability and prepare a list of needs.
While there are always sustainable alternatives for the products you buy, using what you have on hand is the most eco-friendly approach.
Choose eco-friendly school supplies
You’ve taken inventory of what you have, but there are still some school supplies that your child needs. Write down the required products along with their quantities. This way, you can only focus on these products while shopping and avoid unnecessary spending.
So what should we pay attention to when shopping? First, for purchased items, opt for school supplies that use minimal packaging, are made from recycled materials, and are durable enough to last for years.
Prepare zero-waste lunchboxes
Instead of preparing your child’s lunch box with packaged foods and drinks, you can put healthy snacks that they will love in their bags with eco-friendly and easy-to-open/closed food containers.
Reduce carbon footprint with transportation alternatives
If you live near your child’s school, get him/her started on the right foot by walking or biking to school. It can also be the healthiest option while chatting and having a good time together along the way. If these transportation alternatives are not suitable for you, talk to other parents using the same school route and plan a schedule for carpooling. This way, you will reduce your carbon footprint and encourage your neighbours to make sustainable choices.
Buy recycled products to meet your needs
With the rapid increase in sustainability awareness, many brands have used more sustainable alternatives in production. So you can prioritize school items produced using recycled raw materials when meeting your needs.
Donate or recycle items you don’t need instead of throwing them away
Outgrown clothes, half-empty notebooks, and many materials go to waste unchecked.
Another way to stay green is to dispose of items your child can no longer use in an environmentally responsible way.
Together you can check all the materials used in the previous year and group which ones you can donate and which you can recycle. Moreover, while doing this, you can have fun and explain to them the importance of recycling.
As you and your child prepare for that exciting day, you can act responsibly towards our planet and educate the bright minds of the future to be environmentally conscious by making eco-friendly and sustainable choices on your back-to-school list. So, with your guidance, they can create sustainable habits from an early age.