|The Green ABCs: A Sustainable Back-to-School Guide|
|Thursday, 06 September 2012 00:00 | Written by Sion Dayson | Article|
As each new school year arrives, there’s no escaping the sales, the shopping and the seemingly endless list of “necessary” supplies. But shouldn't we ask some fundamental questions, such as: Is all this consumption critical to my child’s success? Can we create a more sustainable (and sane) approach to preparing for the academic year? Just what do we want to be teaching our kids, anyway? Let’s go back to the environmental ABCs for some guidance:
A - Assess Your True Needs: It’s an advertiser’s job to try to sell you everything he can—from newfangled technologies to the latest trends. But you probably already have a lot of what your kids will need for school. Reuse old backpacks and binders and refill pen cartridges. An older sibling’s castoffs work just as well as something new from the store.
B - Begin with the Basics: Of course, your kids will require some new things. Make a list of the true daily necessities—pencils, paper, etc.—then stick to it. Look for products with less packaging and buy in bulk to cut down on return trips, packaging and cost. Avoid battery-powered objects and gimmicks like pens that record your voice.
C - Create a Sustainable Action Plan: The new school year is not just about hitting the books, but is also an opportunity to rethink many different areas of your family’s life, such as transportation and diet. Make this a chance to analyze daily habits and make simple changes to cut back on waste.
Try these tips for real-world applications of the ABCs:
These are just a few things you can do to start off this school year in a more eco-friendly fashion. In collaboration with your kids, you can come up with more of your own. Allowing your kids to contribute suggestions helps get their buy-in to the effort.
In these times,"reduce, reuse and recycle" is just as crucial a curriculum as “reading, writing and arithmetic.” And aren’t these larger values what we most hope our children will learn?
Written by Lindsey , August 20, 2009Report abuse