School is nearly back in session, but are you ready? While new and exciting school supplies is enticing, it takes a toll on both your wallet and the environment. It’s more important than ever to make back to school shopping eco-friendly. We gathered a few tips to help make the first day of school greener and less expensive, from eco-conscious supplies to long-term solutions!
8 Green Tips for Back to School
1. Hold a back-to-school swap.
If back to school season is strain on your budget, consider setting up a swap with other families. Invite everyone to bring gently used clothing, extra school supplies and whatever else that others could benefit from. This is also a perfect opportunity to discuss tip #5 with other parents or peers who commute!
2. Opt for non-toxic or recycled school supplies.
You can do your part for the environment by investing in environmentally responsible supplies. Consider buying pencils that are FSC certified, as these are manufactured from reforested wood. There are also eco-friendly backpacks (see tip #6), water bottles, etc. Check out our list of top eco-friendly school supplies for more ideas.
3. Pack lunches and use green alternatives.
Although it’s more prep at home, you can save up to thousands of dollars a year by packing your lunches. By prepping a meal to last the week, it can be healthier and more cost-efficient for the entire family. In addition to making your own lunches, you can also choose greener lunch bags and containers to help eliminate waste. Check out sites such as https://ecolunchboxes.com/ and https://www.planetbox.com/ for stainless steel lunchboxes, plastic free containers and more.
4. Take inventory of what you already have at home.
That junk drawer that’s rattling around with spare pens and pencils? Check it out. Chances are, you may already have a lot of the supplies on your list. New supplies are exciting, but you could be saving money and clearing out unused supplies that need to be put to work. This is also an opportune time to bring extra supplies to the swap mentioned above, or even donated to the school.
5. Carpool, bus or walk.
Some are fortunate enough to be within walking distance of their school or be a part of a bus system. If you and other families or students commute by car, you can set up a carpool to save time and gas. Your school may have a carpooling system in place, or you can check with other people in the neighborhood.
6. Invest in a solid backpack that will last for more than a year.
One of the larger school purchases, a new backpack can run anywhere from $30 to $100 or more, depending on the brand and quality. There isn’t really a need to buy a brand-new backpack every single year, so why not invest in one that will last? There are brands that even offer a lifetime warranty, like Jansport.
7. Clean out your old tech and sell with ecoATM.
Got any old tablets or phones laying around at home? Not only do these devices contain harmful chemicals, but they also clog up our landfills. Instead of letting them collect in your drawers, these devices could be instant cash in your pocket. ecoATM takes devices of all walks of life, so why not take a moment to see what they’re worth? Visit a local ecoATM to not only recycle those old devices, but also earn instant cash on the spot!
8. Educate yourself or family on the importance of being eco-friendly.
Do you have any of your own back to school tips? Comment below!