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3 Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Tips


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3 Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Tips

It’s Back to School Time!

It’s that time of year again for purchasing new books, clothing and educational supplies for your kids. But as your children return to school, it’s important to think about not only the financial aspects of the back-to-school season, but also the environmental impact of the items you purchase as well as your kids’ daily commute to school.
To help you keep the environment in mind while you prepare your children for another school year, check out the eco-friendly back-to-school tips below.

Purchase Organic Clothing

Non-organic cotton is grown using nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world, making the production of cotton a major contributor to the pollution of our planet. Many other clothing materials also contain chemicals used during the industrial process, such as per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs), nonylphenols and phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors.

To help keep these harmful chemicals away from your children, make sure to look for clothing that’s made with fabrics that are organically grown, naturally dyed and produced with minimal environmental impact. Not only will your children have a new wardrobe full of natural clothing that won’t expose them to dangerous chemicals, but you’ll also be contributing to a cleaner, safer future for them to look forward to.

Purchase Green School Supplies

A report by the advocacy group Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) found high levels of hormone-disrupting phthalates present in many children’s school supplies. The study examined 20 children’s vinyl backpacks, lunch boxes, binders and rainy day apparel, and discovered that 75% of the products contained high levels of phthalates, which are potentially harmful to the health of your children.

To help protect your children, avoid purchasing school supplies made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as phthalates are often used to make PVC plastic more pliable. If a product has the number “3” on it, or the letters “V” or “PVC” beneath it, the product is likely to contain phthalates.

Also look for recycled and renewable school supplies whenever possible. Try to find backpacks made with natural fibers like hemp or organic cotton, recycled notebooks and paper products made without bleach, and PVC- and BPA-free lunch boxes and beverage bottles to ensure that your children are safe from harmful chemicals, as you contribute to the sustainability of our planet.

Walk, Bike or Carpool

By the time you’ve driven your kids to school, picked them up and taken them to extracurricular activities (like soccer practice, the mall, etc.), you’ve logged some serious time in your car.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all U.S. emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas.”

To encourage physical activity as well as the opportunity to spend more time with your children, consider walking with them to school or letting them bike if their school is within a reasonable distance. You can also try scheduling carpools with nearby parents to help cut back on fuel expenses as well as the environmental impact of carbon emissions from your vehicle.

Can you think of any other eco-friendly back-to-school tips we didn’t mention? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Resources:

Green Back-To-School Tips: Eco-Friendly Ways To Prepare For The Year
Green tips for going back to school!
Cars and Global Warming
Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing
Healthy Home Tips: Tip 11 – EWG’s Back-To-School Guide.

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Hope Beach
Hope Beach
5 years ago

I was just saying how lucky we are to have a grocery store right in our neighborhood should we need just a few things and won’t need to drive to carry it.

Karen
Karen
4 years ago
Reply to  Hope Beach

As a kid I use to walk to the store all the time but where we live now it would be to far to walk.

Victoria Smith
Victoria Smith
5 years ago

I love being able to walk my kids to school. And this article really opened my eyes regarding chemicals in clothing.

Lesley Clarke
Lesley Clarke
5 years ago

one of the easiest things to do is to pack your kids (and yourself) litterless lunches!

melissa lingenbrink
melissa lingenbrink
5 years ago

Consider lunch and snack packaging as an opportunity to make a small change. Using reusable containers is a first step.

Stephanie Cosgrove
Stephanie Cosgrove
5 years ago

I agree with Lesley and Melissa – pack litter-less lunches. Also, pack your little ones nutritious meals to get them through the day. A lot of the advertised school snacks are closer to candy than nutritious snacks (in my opinion).

Jen Haralson
Jen Haralson
5 years ago

When my kids started school for the first time, I was astounded at how much waste a week’s worth of lunch created. We now make them as waste-free as possible – it’s an easy change to make!

Linda Watson
Linda Watson
5 years ago

Thanks for the tips on the school supplies!! Making the mistake of just shopping for bargains can be harming our young ones!!

Smithd623
Smithd623
3 years ago

Some really quality blog posts on this internet site , saved to fav.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
3 years ago
Reply to  Smithd623

Glad you’re finding our blog useful! And thanks for the kind words!

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

Planning on using Amazon boxes as hard canvas backdrops for homeschool projects for upcycling! <3