It’s that time of the year – new backpacks, new books, new stationery and new strategies to make school time better than ever! The back to school season can be chaotic and, if you’re not careful enough, rather wasteful and non-ecological. If you, like us, are trying to be more environmentally mindful, here are some ways that’ll help you craft sustainable practices and habits!
Shop your own home first - Kids and adults alike, end up buying more pens, pencils and papers than we’ll ever use! What does that mean? Only more plastic in the waste. Before you step out to buy more supplies, stop and check for leftover supplies from last year. There’s a high chance you’ll find you already have more than enough.
Shop from your local bookstore - Many local bookstores sell specialty items as single units. Instead of buying pencils or highlighters in bulk, you can actually buy just how much your child needs. These stores also sell single sheets and notebooks made from 100% recycled paper, which are always a good idea!
Up-cycle old blank papers - Once again, we highly recommend going through the previous years’ inventory. You’ll find notebooks that haven’t been filled up yet, blank worksheets and printing paper and more. We love up-cycling these to create new notebooks. It’s an interesting project, the kids still get to have new stuff and you minimize waste. Everyone wins!
Choose quality - When it comes to backpacks, shoes and even water bottles, we always recommend spending a wee bit more and going for something that’s built to last, rather than a cheap product that’ll need replacing every year. You’ll be surprised to find that a good backpack will often actually outlast the school years!
Make smart swaps - Choose refillable fountain pens instead of plastic ball-point pens. If you’re buying new products, choose the ones with cardboard or minimal plastic packaging. Go for 100% stainless-steel scissors, rulers, pencil cases, etc. Opt for notebooks made of cardboard covers and bound by twine or cotton, making it fully compostable.
Bye-bye, plastic baggies - A stainless-steel lunchbox, like the ones from The Pinwheelers, always comes in handy. It does not break, does not leak, is lightweight and super easy to carry and reuse, and 100% recyclable. The best part is that it’ll last you pretty much forever, thus acting like your kids’ trusty companions throughout their school life.
Additionally, we also suggest looking up product recycling programs with your local stores and preferred brands. There are many ways to go zero-waste. And if you have more tips to share on sustainable ways to prep for back to school, let us know! We would love to hear from you!