Before heading out for your annual back to school shopping trip, take a minute and think about the environmental impact of your school supply choices. Go through your child’s list of necessities and evaluate the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Reduce: One way to reduce is by purchasing school supply items in bulk whenever possible. Often the packaging of school supplies can create as much, or even more waste than the actual supplies themselves. Buying bulk will help cut down on the amount of wrapping, and it is usually less expensive. To reduce pollution, enroll in a carpool program or have your child take the bus. It is a great opportunity for kids to socialize and be environmentally friendly.
Reuse: When trying to reuse, think about the notebooks, markers, and pencils you may have leftover from last year. Many items, such as backpacks, binders, pencil cases, scissors, and rulers can be used for several years. If you pack a lunch for your child, invest in a reusable lunch tote. Take an extra step and pack their lunch items in reusable plastic containers.
Recycle: Buying recycled school supplies and teaching your child about recycling is a great way to get them started in leading an eco-friendly lifestyle. Eco-conscious items are now readily available in many stores and there are many different products to choose from.