7 Tips for a Sustainable Back-to-School Season

The school holidays couldn't come fast enough for parents around the globe. But now that it's finally here, mothers, fathers, and guardians are already dreading the start of the new school year. After all, it's an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to fix some parenting mistakes. In a world littered with garbage and affected by pollution, why not begin with teaching your children to be eco-conscious? They'll be set for a more sustainable back-to-school season with newly formed eco-friendly habits.

Talk about the importance of going green

In discussion, we typically focus on the environmental advantages of going green. In actuality, becoming eco-conscious benefits your surroundings and your mental health equally. Let your little ones know that the eco-friendly changes they can implement can be as simple as reusing a water bottle. Ensure they understand that even the most minor environmentally-friendly decisions make the biggest difference.

Moreover, an eco-friendly lifestyle can help them lead healthier and happier lives overall. Recent studies have confirmed that people making conscious decisions to protect the environment have lower stress levels.

mother, preparing her young daughter and son for a more sustainable back-to-school season

Enroll your child in an eco-friendly school

To help your kid genuinely understand the importance of sustainability, register your child in an environmentally friendly school. In a time when climate change is a global concern, it's no surprise that schools are embracing green solutions. Such schools often promote eating less meat and the benefits of vegetables and fruits. They teach children to harvest and grow their food. Other than that, eco-schools organize activities like gathering plastic waste, cleaning green areas in cities, and more.

It's human to fear the unknown. The new school system and surroundings may intimidate your little one at first. So, help them accept the change and show support. For instance, optimism is contagious, so be as positive as possible in helping them adapt to a new school.

Shop for biodegradable or second-hand school clothes

A widely known fact is that kids outgrow clothing very quickly. So, consider obtaining either clothing items that are biodegradable or used clothing for your child in favor of recycling. Furthermore, purchasing new clothing from retail stores represents a significant financial waste and endangers the environment. In such ways, we unknowingly support manufacturers who grow GMO crops and create oil-based synthetic fabrics and toxic dyes used in their production.

For more sustainable alternatives, have your child swap clothes with family, friends, or neighbors. This option encourages sustainable decluttering among your loved ones. If that doesn't work, buying clothing from flea markets, consignment stores, and thrift stores supports sustainability principles and helps you save money.

two young girls, writing in a classroom

Go for recyclable and safe school supplies

In addition to being beneficial to your child, choosing a sustainable alternative to school supplies is excellent for the environment. Since youngsters tend to put everything in their mouths, manufacturers of school items often conceal harmful substances. Ironically, numerous school supplies contain hazardous chemicals that are banned from use in children's toys, including backpacks, pencils, erasers, etc. To remedy this issue, always seek products devoid of PVC, BPA, phthalates, and fragrances.

In addition, don't forget that your kids can simply reuse their school items instead of getting new ones. If there are leftover supplies lying around the house, save them for the next school year. As experts from easymovekw.com suggest, eco-friendly storage containers are a modern green solution offered to people with items they need in the long run but cannot find room for at home. Though kids may prefer new and more modern supplies, remind them that sustainability comes before aesthetics.

Prioritize used books for a more sustainable back-to-school season

Next, you can reduce your and your little one's carbon footprint by getting them used textbooks rather than newly printed ones. A growing number of people are choosing to rent or buy old textbooks, which helps to decrease the production of new books. In turn, this saves millions of trees and, thus, animal habitats. Countless online bookstores, like Amazon Textbook Rentals, Campus Book Rentals, and more often provide used textbooks for significant discounts. They may also have a larger variety of textbooks than regular book shops.

Pack your lunch in sustainable packaging

School cafeterias throw away significant amounts of food daily. Making your children lunch and packing food in an eco-friendly lunch box is a green strategy that combats this problem. Preparing lunch doesn't have to be time-consuming or stressful if you work together. Get your kids involved in selecting the lunch's components so they won't throw out anything they don't like. Following meal-prep tips that support sustainability, encourage your kids to eat home-cooked meals and a plant-based diet.

While you're at it, avoid plastic-wrapped food to improve your environmental efforts. Instead, place the snacks in kid-friendly reusable silicone bags rather than ziplock bags. Additionally, pair your reusable lunch box with a reusable water bottle.

a woman preparing food for her two children

Trade the bus for a walk to school

Lastly, your kids' commute to school can be just as healthy for the environment and their physical health alike. To reduce air pollution, stop driving your youngsters to class and have them walk or bike to school instead. Furthermore, most schools nowadays have an extensive bus schedule, so even letting them ride the bus is better than joining it on the road. That way, you'll help reduce the smog emissions, your children will get to exercise, and they could even make new acquaintances on the way there.

The takeaway

All in all, anything you and your kids do that contributes to a more sustainable back-to-school season counts as an admirable effort. Although seemingly unimpactful, simple sustainability tips like the ones above help reduce waste production immensely. An eco-friendly lifestyle educates and builds character while improving your quality of life. So, help your children adopt an eco-conscious mindset. Let them spread the message of sustainability at school!