TIP 1. Not everything has to be new While the hand-me-down concept used to be the sole domain of younger siblings, there are a growing number of used clothing retailers that can insert a certain element of “eco-chic” to your child’s wardrobe and are much more affordable anyway.
TIP 2. Use reusable containers for packed lunches Pack lunches in reusable food and drink containers which can be used throughout the entire school year. If paper bags must be used, look for bags that have not been bleached or are made from recycled paper.
TIP 3. Incorporate FSC-certified products The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an organization that certifies wood and paper products grown in forests that are responsibly managed. Look for the FSC label on pencils and paper which are continually becoming easier to find.
TIP 4. Shop online Online shopping is quicker and can be done from the more relaxing confines of home, while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint by keeping the car in your garage.
TIP 5. Don’t buy supplies in bulk Where writing utensils are concerned, consider buying pens and pencils that are refillable. With other supplies, always take a realistic estimate of what you will need and if you don’t need to buy in bulk, then don’t. More isn’t always better—even if it comes at a cheaper per unit price.
TIP 6. Purchase products with minimal packaging Once upon a time we believed that extra packaging was a sign of prestige and quality. Nowadays it’s just pure waste. Keep this in mind when picking products in order to minimize the amount of non-recyclable items that we need to send to landfill.
TIP 7. Laptop green initiatives Turn off laptops when not in use to conserve energy. In addition, while this may take time to research, consider supporting computer manufacturers that are working to reduce their environmental impacts. Supporting these initiatives with your patronage will go a long way to ensure the continuance of their green evolution and will also encourage other manufacturers to follow suit.
TIP 8. Support local produce When purchasing food items for school lunches and snacks, try to source as many of these items from local food producers as possible. Carbon emissions from trucks hauling produce and fruit across the continent are a big problem that can easily be reduced through smart food purchases.
TIP 9. Use eco-friendly transportation Walking to school or riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise before class. It will help to sharpen a student’s focus in class and will add exercise to their daily routine as well. If you drive your children to school but busing is available, consider putting them on the bus instead.
TIP 10. Green guidance The environmental movement is rooted in the fact that society needs to fundamentally change our habits and our attitudes. Where children are concerned, the earlier they can learn and implement environmentally-friendly habits into their lives, the more likely that they will be able to make the changes that many adults simply can’t—or won’t. Making personal choices that embrace a green and sustainable lifestyle will provide examples for your children to learn and emulate from.
Connect with Eric @Enviro_Dad