It feels like the school year only just ended but now is the right time to begin thinking about back-to-school supplies. Here are some tips for making your back-to-school planning more sustainable:
- Children often outgrow clothes before any wear and tear can show on them. That means there are some perfectly good clothes available to your children as hand-me-downs or through consignment or thrift stores. Opt to procure secondhand clothing as much as possible. And keep the cycle going–go through your child’s closet and donate any clothes that no longer fit!
- Some families buy all new school supplies at the start of each year. Instead, use up those old supplies as much as possible. Chances are, that backpack and those art supplies can be used awhile longer!
- Talk to your kids about their lunch habits. You can prevent wasted food by making sure that your child wants to eat everything that you pack for lunch.
- Consider your options for transportation. Walking or biking to school gives your child great exercise and produces a smaller carbon footprint than any vehicular transportation. Similarly, joining neighbors on the bus or forming a carpool are preferred to a car ride for one child’s journey to school.
- Many students must get their own reading books. Rather than buying new books, consider borrowing the books from the school or public library, or purchasing books secondhand.