4 ways to make your back-to-school shopping list eco-friendly

A new school year brings the excitement of new teachers, new friends, and new learning opportunities. It also comes with another school shopping list.

If you’re trying to raise a more environmentally conscious family, or encourage your kids to adopt their own sustainable ways, consider the back-to-school season an opportunity to make a variety of choices. From plastic-free schools to recyclables, sometimes it’s as simple as swapping one item for another in your cart.

It is important to note, however, that individual decisions are not the solution to the global climate crisis. Also, as a parent, don’t feel ashamed for not being able to trade the things you buy for environmentally friendly alternatives. Take these ideas for granted, and consider other ways to bring global justice discussions into your children’s education and everyday life. Check for more information on this.

1. Find sustainable accessories for bags, clothes, etc

While it’s important to cut back on meals, it’s often a difficult task for young children and families who are just trying to make it through the school week. (How many pencils have we as a group lost?)

Instead, consider purchasing items made from recycled, natural, or locally sourced materials to reduce shopping costs, including new clothing and textiles such as bags. For example, bags made from natural fibers such as cotton – there are also some made from banana fiber – are a more versatile option and are often more durable and easier to maintain than bags made from plastic.

The debate over the environmental impact of cotton has grown with concerns about the water and energy required to produce the product. But it is a better way to reduce the world’s non-biodegradable waste. To make a more thoughtful cotton purchase, look for products that are produced under the Better Cotton Initiative, a program established by the World Wildlife Fund that sets standards for cotton production around the world.

Choosing the most durable fabrics can benefit your budget in the long run. Check out bags from brands like Terra Threadswhich offers a selection of beautiful bags made from recycled materials and supports the national nonprofit Feeding America. Some options include this completely recycled nylon bag from Jem & Bea and recycled bags from big brands like JanSport.

While your child may want a new bag to match their new year personality, simple bags can be a blank slate for personalization. Let your child add patches, pins, and even drawings to express their personality. When in doubt, try to find a bag like Fjällräven that offers a lifetime warranty and repairs to extend the life of your child’s belongings.

And if you must go the plastic route, look for bags made from non-woven polypropylene, a very durable plastic that will last a long time, requires little use to reduce the production of conventional plastic, and is easy to recycle.

You can also try pencils, pens, and markers made from recycled materials, such as those sold by Eco Pen Club (they have lighting too!), Wisdom Supply Co. (includes non-painting pencils and colored pencils), and TreeSmart Price, a brand started more than a decade ago repurposing old newspapers and water bottles into new school supplies. For older children and teenagers, look for refillable pens that can be reused for years. Larger brands like Pilot offer writing desks, or you can switch to old school pens, like Lamy’s.

The National Crayon Recycling Program rescues pounds of old crayons from landfills and recycles them into the new creative tools they are available to buy. They also provide instructions for driving your own crayon recycling truck.

Eco-friendly crayons offer alternatives to frequently used crayons, such as these wax crayons from Eartheasy. Crayola is committed to reducing environmental damage, pledging to use sustainable wood. The brand had a marker recycling program for customers, which have been stopped during the pandemic. It currently offers recycling tips or even recycling last year’s art.

2. Choose plastic-free everyday materials

The easiest way is to try non-plastic boxes, perhaps stainless steel or bento boxes, for your children’s school lunches. PlanetBox, an eco-friendly school brand, is sold Three sizes of stainless steel lunch boxes even a lunch tray, as well lunch bags, lunch bagsand Cooler bags made from recycled materials.

Plastic-free pencil cases are another way to reduce plastic waste in classrooms. Bags made of stainless steel, wood, or fabric are ideal, durable for students. View and view all reviews of Wisdom Supply Co., Ltd “zero-waste” pencil tin or his recycled aluminum containeror browse about the company standard paper dispenser which includes pencil cases, binders, notebooks, and folders. Terra Thread also sells cotton pencil cases. When shopping, look for bags made from materials like canvas and polyester, not plastic.

Reusable sandwiches and snack bags may already be part of your household routine, so try using them for your kids’ lunches as well. Dear products like Stasher offer different sizes and types of reusable bags, but even store-brand bags that can be recycled from places like Objectives and Walmart and good exchange.

3. Prioritize recycled paper products

Although rehabilitation is not as straightforward as it may seem, due to inconvenient, inaccessible routes, or climate change that has a significant impact on the climate, paper is one area that the recycling industry has come close to consider it, it is at least or more than 63 percent of paper products are recycled each a year. Therefore, you can feel good about recycling your child’s used paper products, as well as buying recycled paper products.

Try to buy notebooks, workbooks, cards, and binders made from recycled paper and cardboard. A regular shopping center EarthHero sells a wide range of quality recycled paper products, such as eco-friendly notebooks and ruled filler paper brand products Decay. This is a great option if your kids are drawn to fun drawings and paintings, too. Decay they also sell construction materials made from 85 percent post-consumer waste. Other types like EcoPaper provide pens and paper made from inexpensive materials, such as banana waste. And famous stationery brands like Five stars and Oxford also provide recycled paper labels that you can find at local stores.

If you have an older student who is interested in technology or wants to sell reusable products, you can also modify paper products for other options such as RocketBookwhich allows you to save manuscripts digitally and then delete pages for repeated use.

4. Bring back-to-school shopping with inspiration and education

More important than any of these things is using the back-to-school season as an opportunity to educate yourself and your child about the impact of environmental activism, how the climate has changed around the world, and the activists who are fighting to stop it.

Consider incorporating environmental volunteer opportunities with your child’s after-school activities. This can be as simple as composting at home, gardening, or participating in drive-through recycling. You can also look into (or start) an environmental club at your child’s school. Leaders like Ic from WeAreTeachers can be useful, or you can reach out to the local chapters of all kinds of groups, such as Sunrise Movement Hub.

If you have the means, donate to organizations that advocate for high-level change, government and industry to address climate change. Youth organizations such as Sunrise Walk, was started by youth activists Sara Blazevic and Varshini Prakash, and World Warfounded by a 17-year-old Alexandria Villasenor, inspiring the next generation of activists. Other organizations such as Climate Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Networkand Sierra Club he is also working hard. Many also offer free training and preparation resources.

Remember to model good environmental behavior for your children. When shopping for back-to-school supplies, avoid buying from big, profit-driven companies like Amazon, resulting in global pollution and transportation emissions. It can be difficult, but try to check out stores in your area if possible. You can use websites and apps like Goodbuya resource that connects consumers with local, small businesses.

Finally, supplement your child’s education with environmental and climate education, and consider partnering with other parents and teachers to fight for climate education in schools. Many activists across the country are working to reform public education that would make climate education an integral part of your child’s education, because—surprisingly— it hasn’t spread yet. If you live in an area with limited climate education (or if you don’t) consider supplementing your child’s education with environmental education. You can find resources at US Environmental Protection Agency websiteSee NASA’s Climate Kids websiteor read it Common Sense Media’s guide to weather teaching materials. You can also listen science and news podcasts for kids like Activatorswhich contains the work of young environmentalists and researchers.

During this discussion, try it avoid weather damage and stress and focus on the stories of young people who are charting a path forward. Encourage your children to make changes, and try to take action if necessary to keep them focused. The future of our world and the start of a new school year are not exactly on the same level, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to solve all those worries at the same time.

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