We’ll admit, we love summer. But some time after camp ends and the kids start to complain that they’re bored, we get antsy. And we look forward to school starting. Just like they do.
So we prepare, getting everything ready for the first day. We consult our list of supplies and school year needs, and we get into the new year mindset. Now, more than ever, that mindset has to include sustainability.
Just ask your kids. Young people across the globe know that we need to be kinder and gentler to the planet – in March of this year, many of them participated in a global climate strike (inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish climate activist), walking out of their schools in order to send a message to governments, corporations, and grown-ups: the planet is in distress and something has to change.
Good thing for everyone, there are many new options to make the school year great AND green!
Backpacks + Lunches
Of course, reusing last year’s backpack or inheriting a new one from an older sibling is a great way to start things off sustainably. Consider a good washing or sewing on a new patch to upgrade the old one. If the old one is kaput, or you’re really in the market for a new one, we like these brands because they’re sustainable and B Corps: United By Blue, Mafia (these are made by upcycled sails!), and of course, Patagonia.
For lunch, our ZipTucks are a go-to for sandwiches, snacks, and sides. We also love a great lunchbox and with sustainability front of mind these days, there are so many options available – stainless steel, silicone lids, tempered glass, round, square, single compartment, multi-compartment – you’re sure to find the right one.
-If you have leftover supplies from last year, that’s great news!Try to refill any old pens or mechanical pencils too, we often forget how easy and earth-friendly this is. -Another great new product is the highlighter pencil, they’re better for the environment and as a bonus, don’t bleed through paper.
-Try to buy recycled paper when you can, and smaller notebooks are a great idea (often times, notebooks go largely unfilled and then hundreds of sheets of paper go to waste).
-And if a ruler is on the list, stainless steel is a great way to go – it will last forever.
We’ve given into it. Screens are a permanent fixture in our children’s lives. But we’re going to try our hardest to deemphasize their presence and emphasize the need for responsibility over them. Keeping them well maintained is a good lesson in that. Our CTRL Alt Clean is a great way for your kids to keep their phones, tablets, and other electronics clean and smudge-free.
Walking the Green Walk
Talk to your kids about how to be greener while at school. Remind them to use scrap paper whenever possible, not to print things unnecessarily, to bring a reusable water bottle to and fro or keep one in their locker or desk, and to differentiate what can be recycled and which bin it goes into. And don’t forget that your children will ultimately do as you do, not as you say, so be sure to set the right example and make the most sustainable choice you can. We know it’s tough, we’re all doing our best. That’s why we write these blogs, because we’re in your corner.
Happy new (school) year!