Earth Friendly Back To School Tips for a Green School Year!
With families and kids starting to think about going back to school, it can be easy to get caught up in the consumerism of “Back to School” shopping and buying “New” school supplies and clothes. With soaring costs for consumer back to school items, its even more important to find ways to cut costs. One way to reduce your budget needed for back to school is by using and participating in recycling. We want to provide a few back-to-school tips for reducing, reusing, and recycling that will help save you money, but also help to make our earth a more sustainable place for generations to come!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle this School Year
- Not Everything has to be New: There are some items that simply do not have to be purchased “New” every school year – such as school clothes. Hand-me-down clothes are ultra-affordable, and work especially well for younger kids. Older kids may enjoy shopping for their own unique chic or retro style at the local thrift store. Remember, there are 10.5 million tons of clothes thrown into the landfill each year!
- Boost your School’s Recycling Program: Brainstorm with the kids on how to recycle more and reduce waste at your school. From using iPads instead of printing paper, or making sure that recycling bins for bottles and cans are conveniently located, there are always improvements to be made in a school’s recycling program. Some schools even have special waste reduction equipment, such as balers for compacting cardboard in their back room, or side-by-side recycling and trash compactors in the cafeteria to reduce waste. Here are more ideas on recycling more at school.
- Only Buy What you Need: The deals are out there to buy schools supplies in bulk, but in reality, some items may be lost or unusable before you need them. Before you start school shopping, take inventory of what you already have at home that is leftover from last year. Then, only buy what you need to reduce throwing out dry glue sticks or markers later.
- Pack School Lunches in Reusable Containers: Reusable food and drink containers that can be washed and used again can last the entire school year. Get in the habit of using the reusable containers whenever packing a lunch instead of using brown bags, plastic bottles, or other throw-away items and save money and landfill space.
- Find out what Specialty Items can be Recycled to Raise Money for the School: Many schools use programs where they collect items such as ink cartridges, cereal bags, and other hard-to-recycle items to raise money for the school. Recycling programs for schools and non-profits such as Terracycle help to collect those items that would otherwise go in the trash.
- Talk to your Kids’ Teachers to See What they Need: If your child is in elementary school, chances are they do a lot of projects that involve everything from egg cartons to magazines to toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes. Talk to the teachers early in the year to see what upcoming projects will need supplies that may otherwise make its way to the trash.
By thinking about how we can reduce waste not just at home and work, but also at school, we can make a difference and teach our kids lifelong habits that will help our Earth. Harmony Enterprises, Inc. makes balers, compactors and other recycling and waste management equipment that are used in schools, businesses, and other facilities worldwide. But, we are also on a mission to help people make decisions that are eco-friendly so we can live in a more sustainable world. If you would like to learn more about earth friendly back to school tips, or our recycling and waste management solutions, please contact us at (507) 886-6666 or fill out this simple form.
And, check out another back to school post with 8 green tips for back to school here.
Interested in reading articles on recycling, reducing waste, and helping our global environment from Harmony Enterprises? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here.