We’ve been enjoying the last few weeks of summer but to be honest, I’m getting excited for my kids to start the school year. My oldest will be in middle school and there will be a lot of new routines to get used to. As I’m preparing for the new school year, I’m trying to keep in mind that there are many ways to help the environment – in fact, it can be so simple. Here are some ideas to make a few changes that may be small to you, but can make a great impact on the environment. 10 Ways to Be Greener This Back To School Season
- Re-Use and Recycle School Supplies – While certain school supplies, such as notebooks, need to be new, there is really no need for brand-new other items, such as binders, pencils, and erasers. They will get the job done just as well as new items. Get a good pencil sharpener and sharpen the broken pencils; spruce up old binders with some colorful decorations. Consider donating used supplies you no longer need.
- Set Aside Items that Might End up in the Trash Bin – Throughout the year I occasionally receive letters from my kids’ teachers (including their art teacher) asking for items that can be used in crafts. Rather than tossing out an old milk carton or coffee container, designate a special box to store these recyclable items that can be used in the classroom for crafts during the school year.
- Use Frozen Juice Boxes Instead of Ice Packs – In lieu of an ice pack, freeze your kids’ juice boxes and store them in their lunch boxes as an ice pack. This will save you the need to buy several ice packs for your kids’ lunches (be sure your kids recycle their juice boxes when empty).
- Swap Backpacks and Lunchboxes – Have you heard of a costume swap? It’s when you bring an old Halloween costume and swap for another used costume. You can do the same with gently used backpacks and lunch boxes, so your kids can have a new style or character they like.
- Walk or Carpool to School – If your kids’ school is within walking distance, have them walk – maybe with a few neighbors. If walking is not an option, consider carpooling with a neighbor to reduce pollution.
- Drowning in Paper – is it just me or do kids come home each day with tons of useless paper? Reuse the backs of letters from the school and artwork as scrap paper to practice math problems. The backs of teachers’ letters are especially useful for having your kids do beautiful artwork.
- Create New Crayons – Rather than buying a new box of crayons, collect broken crayons, unwrap them, put in cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. When they cool down, pop them out of the mold and enjoy a brand-new crayon for the kids to color with!
- Ditch the Plastic bottles – Invest in a BPA-free water bottle your kids will use every day. Sure, it’s easy when you’re rushing out the door to just grab a plastic bottle but if you fill the water bottle overnight and take it out of the fridge while you’re packing lunch you’ll be saving dozens and dozens of unnecessary plastic ones.
- Pack a Lunch – Spend a few minutes packing a quick lunch for your kids, or, better yet, if they’re old enough, have them help you make it. They’ll be part of their decision and take control of their choices.
- Plan Family Meals – When you plan your dinners you waste less food since you only buy what you plan on using in your recipes. Create a menu, figure out your budget and look out for in-store savings.
10 Ways to Be Greener This Back To School Season
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day