Education shouldn’t just be left to the school and more importantly should not focus solely on academics. As we now see a huge transition to a greener corporate world, it’s important to implement a holistic approach to education both within the home and the transition to school.
The average family with school-aged children will spend approximately $600 on back-to-school purchases this year. This isn’t including the BYOD scheme the Australian Government has bought in. And, while schooling requires supplies, we too often turn to disposable supplies to do the job
These eco-friendly tips for getting back to school will lower your impact
on the environment, save you money and help start preparing your child for the global green age they are about to encounter.
1. Reuse before buying new products
Inventory your products before you buy more. If you do need to buy new products, aim for items that are recycled, recyclable or reusable such as rulers, refillable pens, cute vintage or recycled fabric pencil cases. Buy paper products that use 100% recycled content. This includes lined, construction/art and printer paper, notebooks, folders, sketchbooks and sticky notes to name a few.
Did you know?
In Australia, disposable pens add 700 tonnes to landfill each year.
Each Australian uses about 10, 000 pieces of paper per year.
Each printer cartridge takes about 450 years to decompose
2. Second Hand Products
Buying second hand items not only saves money but also saves an unwanted item from going to landfill. For school, this could include buying second hand school uniforms and textbooks. Uniforms can also be re-hemmed, altered or fixed with sewing, either by a professional or at home to extend their life. A great way to get new school clothes for free is to organize a clothing swap with family, friends or neighbours.
3. Lunch Box
Buy non-toxic reusable lunch boxes and water bottles. Include cloth napkins and metal cutlery so your child doesn’t need to opt for disposable ones, especially when they get tuckshop food. When they do buy lunch from school, ask them to bring back all the packaging to make sure it is disposed of thoughtfully.
FACT: In Australia 373 million plastic water bottles end up in waste each
4. Make the commute to school a Greener commute
Think about walking, scootering or riding a bike all or even part of the way. Otherwise you can research safe public transport routes for your child to ride to school. If none of these are options, why not create a car pool with some other families or neighbours?
5. Big Purchases
If this is the year for a desk or computer for your student, consider buying used or repurposed items. There are plenty of second hand stores or websites like Gumtree that sell gently used and refurbished computers, laptops, iPads, tablets, printers and other electronics. There’s also a big supply of desks, chairs, file cabinets and other furniture.
6. Teach Kids how to Take Care
Backpacks, clothes, and supplies will all last longer if kids practice taking good care of them. Be sure to label your child’s belongings to help prevent them from getting lost or stolen.
“ The future of our environment will be in the hands of our children. The duty to educate rests upon our shoulders to ensure they are well equipped to carry that responsibility!” – Petria Leggo-Field