Tuesday, August 9, 2022
“Earth Day is every day.”
Later this month or the first week in September, kids will head back to school. Break out the vodka Mom and Dad (or Mom and Mom or Dad and Dad). What a relief!
No kids at home?. It’s time to “Cell-i-brate. Cell-i-brate! Dance to the Music.” But before you toast your good fortune, consider this:
Go Green! Don’t Screw up Back to School!
Just remember this mantra: Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. And you should be fine.
REUSE: It’s One of the New Three R’s.
According to energysaver.gov, the best way to minimize your kid’s environmental impact is to reuse items. Why not take 80 brown paper bags and plastic bottles off the road by sending your kids to school with a lunchbox.
Lunchboxes were cool in the 50s and they’re even cooler now. They signify a desire to live a more sustainable life. That’s something your kids and their friends can appreciate.
REDUCE: Buy Less. Waste Less. Save More.
Another way to save energy and money is to buy as little as possible. Every new thing you buy had to be manufactured, packed, and shipped.
So, ask your kids to go on a hunt to see how many of last year’s (and previous year’s) school supplies (paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.) they can find hidden in their rooms, closets, even drawers you use. Everybody has a catch-all drawer.
Anything you find that’s still usable is one less thing to buy.
And if you’re planning to purchase a computer or electronics, be sure they are ENERGY STAR® qualified. That will ensure you save money and energy,
RECYCLE: At Both Ends of a Product’s Lifecycle
We’ve become well-aware of the need to recycle paper, plastics, and most appropriate beverage containers. But consider the other end of recycling–when you purchase a product.
Drive demand for recycled goods by purchasing items that contain a high level of post-consumer materials. Look for paper notebooks, pens, bags, reusable food storage items, and even clothes made from recycled materials!
Energy.Gov Back to School Shopping List:
- Reusable lunchbox made from recycled plastic
- Reusable food storage containers made from recycled plastic
- Food utensils made from recycled plastic or from sustainable biomass such as bamboo
- Reusable water bottle
- Reusable snack bags
- Last year’s backpack, pencil pouch, and combination lock
- Last year’s ruler, pens, and markers
- Paper notebooks and filler paper made from recycled paper
- Writing and color pencils made from recycled fibers such as denim and newspapers
- Solar powered calculator
- Manual pencil sharpener
- ENERGY STAR computers and electronics
And remember, if you set a good example for your kids and show them how to live more sustainably, there’s s good chance they’ll pass it on to the next generation.