How to ‘Back to School’ with your Kids in a Eco-Friendly manner?

School season is back! Time to shop for new clothes, school supplies, and the list goes on. For some parents, it may be overwhelming to have everything prepared especially if you have a few school-going children. You might be having some thoughts to start teaching your kids the importance of being sustainable, making green choices, and doing what is right for the environment. At the same time, you are not sure when is the right time to start. How about following these simple tips to make the process easier?

Ditch the plastic! As simple as packing their lunch bento using reusable & recyclable containers instead of plastic is good enough for a start. There are a lot of sizes and designs available in the market, get the ones that your kids will love. You can also have your kids pack their own lunch. By doing so, it is also avoiding them from buying meals with plastic packaging at the school cafeteria and this also encourages them to make healthier food choices since young.

If your kids pack their own lunches, make sure they bring only the food they intend to eat to minimize food waste. However, if they are still producing waste, encourage them to recycle or compost as much as possible. Many schools have already adopted recycling and composting programs, this is one way for you to instill good habits for your kids in school.

Walk your kids to school if possible. This will give you and your kids a chance for a little exercise early in the morning before they kick start the day and spending some quality time together. Not only that, but you can also reduce the carbon footprint when you walk. You can get them to ride bikes to and from the school, but be sure to find a safe route for them to use.

In the United States alone, approximately 11,600 incense-cedar trees are cut down to create the 2 billion pencils made each year.

Check your school supplies inventory before buying more to avoid over-purchasing. If there’s a need, choose sustainable school supplies. Look for those with limited packaging to minimize environmental footprint. Seek out greener supplies like mechanical pencils, refillable pens, and paper clips from recycled steel.

Choose non-toxic sunscreens. Sunscreens not only should be used when you go for a beach holiday to protect your skin, but your kids will also need to wear them too especially during their outdoor activities in school. Some ingredients in store-bought sunscreen can be harmful to corals so keep in mind to check the ingredients first before buying. For example, Oxybenzone is linked to the bleaching of cells and coral fragments, damage and deformation of coral larvae, and damage to coral DNA and its reproductive success.

Developing eco-friendly habits is a learning process for you and your kids. Rome wasn’t built in a day, take baby steps, and give a chance for your kids to explore. Start by setting a good example, then let your kids know why you are doing what you’re doing.