Summer break is coming to an end and the new school year is approaching fast. Before the cart gets filled up with endless amounts of school supplies, check out these green back-to-school tips.
Before you shop, inventory your current school supplies and make a list of what can be reused and what needs to be purchased. Binders and notebooks sometimes last more than one year.
Next, take into account how much you actually need and if there are any options that offer long-term use and are environmentally friendly. Buying in bulk isn’t always the best option. Pay attention to how many school supplies your household uses in a year.
Did you know tax free weekend will be Aug. 3- 5 this year? Buy green and save green by shopping during that time!
Choose recycled and non-toxic school supplies including:
- Lunch Boxes
- Pencils and pens
- Binders and notebooks
To stay healthy and protect the environment avoid items that have:
- PVC-containing plastics
- BPA-containing plastics
- Chlorine-whitened papers
- Solvent-containing markers
Not sure how to tell if an item has one or more of these toxins? Here’s what to do:
- For PVC, check to see if there is a recycling symbol that has the number "3" or the letters "v" or "PVC." If so, this products contains PVC.
- To avoid BPA, look for plastic products labeled "BPA-free."
- To pick a good paper option, look for paper labeled "chlorine-free" or recycled paper products.
- For the best markers, pick unscented markers and markers labeled as "non-toxic."
Another way to stay green this school year is taking advantage of green transportation options. Live close to the school? Encourage the kids to use safe bike routes or have an adult chaperon bring the kids to school. For longer trips, carpool or take the bus to school.