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Going Green At School

Green_AppleFor many students across the U.S., today was the first day of school.  That means kids out of your hair…uhh…I mean they have a great opportunity to learn in a fantastic school environment.  However, it is also another opportunity in going green.  If I sit and think about all the waste when I was going to school, there is a huge opportunity to not only help save our environment, but to also teach kids at a young age not to live wasteful lives.

1. Plastic storage bags – Instead of using new storage bags every time you send your child to school, tell them to bring them home so you can wash and reuse them.  Even better, put their sandwiches in hard plastic storage containers.  This way you can wash and reuse them, and their sandwich wont be a sadwich that was all mangled by the apple you stuck in there.

2.  Pencils – when I first started learning about pollution and deforestation in grade school, I started to feel bad about using the good ole #2 pencil.  I thought about how many trees were knocked down to make all the pencils we used in our school.  Now there is a company called TreeSmart.  They make pencils out of recycled newspaper.  If you buy in bulk, you can get them for $.25 a pencil.

3.  Paper – Your smart, green, A+ student needs something to write on, so enter GreenLine Paper Company.  The website states that it only sells recycled and tree-free papter, and that every product on the website is environmentally friendly and/or socially responsible.

4.  Stapler – One of the best parts about going back to school was all the cool school supplies, and this might be the coolest school supply you can give anyone.  It is a staple-free stapler by CB2.  It stitches together up to 5 pieces of paper using no staples, and it is cheap.  I mean under $7 cheap.  It just doesn’t get any better than this.  I can’t really explain how it works.  You just have to click on the above link to get the idea.

5.  Walking School Bus – It is basically the same idea of a school bus without the bus.  The only horsepower is you.  It could be arranged just by talking to some neighborhood parents.  You all can meet at a designated point, and then all walk to school together picking up kids along the way.  If you can’t do this everyday, alternate days with other parents as you get to know them.  It is a great way for you and your kids to get to know your neighbors.  Here is a freebie.  If all of you have bikes, make it a biking school bus. :)

The most important thing here is not just to send them off with these eco friendly supplies, but to talk to your kids about why they are using these specific items.  That, perhaps, is the most thing not to forget.

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