In case you haven't heard, the school year is upon us. Summer is nearing its end, and the time for back-to-school supplies has approached. With fall comes great green ideas for making this school year greener than previous years.
There are some simple items that you can replace to not only go green, but teach your child environmental practices at an early age. To help inspire your child to give back, try donating some of your shopping budget to a green cause. That way everyone gains by the shopping experience.
Every child wants to have the latest and greatest fashion when going back and seeing all their friends again. This can be especially true if you have a teenager. There are many options to "green" your child's wardrobe. As the economy is a little tough these days, you may want to consider a consignment shop. Nothing is greener than reusing clothes. You may even get him/her some designer clothes. Just tell them they are being environmentally conscious, which is pretty cool.
Another tip may be to buy from companies that donate profits to help the environment and also make their clothing using eco friendly practices. According to Take Part, American Apparel, Levi Strauss, Jonano, Rawganique and REI fit green criteria.
The easiest way to be green is to write with a pencil. Pencils last a really long time. If you need to write with a pen, try to use at the very least a 70% post consumer recycled pen. There are many places to purchase green writing utensils, such as TVI Supply, Staples, and Office Max.
Notebooks and Paper
Paper and notebooks are one of the easiest things to buy green. Look online and find post consumer recycled. The percentage recycled can vary from 10% to 100%. If you find the right store, the recycled paper may be the same cost as non-recycled paper.
One of the most important parts of back to school is finding the perfect backpack. There are many bags that are made from the natural, lightly processed fibers like jute or hemp. If you have a few extra dollars you may want to invest in a solar backpack. These bags are not only stylish, but can charge your child's Ipod, cell phone, or any other electronic devices. These bags cost anywhere from around $70 to $200.
Teaching your child to eat healthy is every parent's responsibility. Adding on the idea of eating green can be a sometimes overwhelming task. Here are some basic tips to help you with green eating. When packing a lunch, buy a reusable bag or a lunch box. Nothing is more green then a reusable lunch pail. When you are at the store, try buying organic, locally grown or fair trade certified food. This will teach them good food habits, which hopefully will last them a lifetime.
Generally, there are three ways your child can get to school: bus, being dropped off or bike (or walk). The top two green transportation modes are bus and bike. If you can avoid driving your student to school, it would be advisable since you are wasting gas. If you are on the bus route, you can let them ride the bus. If you are feeling adventurous, riding a bike to school is the greenest activity and also the healthiest.
Going green is so easy, even a kid can do it!
Ezra Drissman writes for www.GreatGreenIdea.com, a site dedicated to teaching about great green ideas and healthy green living. The goal of the site is to help the public on the quest for "Guilt Free Green Living."
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