Back-To-School Eco Tips

Back-to-school season is underway. It may be time to shop for new clothes, gather school supplies, and prepare for an exciting new school year!

However, back-to-school doesn’t mean overconsumption and spending lots of money. 

Luckily, we’ve done our homework and found a few tips to make this school season kinder for the environment.

Below you will discover seven ways to make this school year eco-friendly while saving money. 

  1. Bike or walk to school 

Walk to school! It’s a great way to get active while avoiding the carbon emissions that result from driving to school daily. 

You may also choose to encourage your kids to ride their bikes or scooters, and be sure to find a safe route for them to use. 

If you must drive your child to school, consider parking your vehicle further from school property to reduce the amount of pollutants around schools and turn your car engine off while waiting during pick-up.

  1. Pack a waste-free lunch

There are countless eco swaps for your lunchbox, making it an easy place to start when thinking about how to reduce waste at school. 

Avoid using single-use items (i.e., zip lock bags, plastic utensils, etc.); instead, use:

  • Reusable lunch bags

Ziplock bags don’t decompose, so every bag stays in our landfills contributing to GHGs. 

Reusable lunch bags are often made of silicon or cloth and are eco-friendly alternatives since they can take the place of hundreds of plastic baggies – limiting landfill waste. 

  • Reusable utensils

Plastic utensils don’t disintegrate quickly, they stick around for a while and can’t be recycled.

Replace it with reusable metal cutlery or bamboo cutlery that is easily compostable. 

  • Reusable water bottles

Plastic water bottles take up space in landfills and pollute our environment because they’re often not disposed of properly. 

To avoid this! Invest in a reusable water bottle that will last you many years and ensure that your water is kept cool for warm and sunny days.

  • Reusable containers 

Every house needs reusable containers! Buy them in bulk and pack your lunches in them instead of using single-use plastic containers. 

  1. Utilize what you already have

Before heading out to your back-to-school shopping, take a careful inventory of the school supplies you already have that can be reused (i.e., barely used notebooks, extra packs of pencils, etc.) to avoid overbuying and wasting supplies and money. Check out our handy 8 R’s of Low Waste Living Tips here!

  1. Buy eco-friendly school supplies

Opt. for school supplies that use minimal packaging, are made from recycled or biodegradable material, and are durable (i.e., biodegradable ballpoint pens, plastic-free highlighter pencils, recycled paper clips, etc.)

When shopping at stores, keep your shopping trip green by grabbing your reusable shopping bag before leaving the house! 

  1. Buy recycled or FSC paper

Recycled paper uses less energy and water, produces lower carbon emissions, and reduces the amount of waste in landfills. It’s a great and accessible option that can help you become more eco-cautious.

  1. Make green choices

There are various environmental impacts associated with fast fashion (i.e., depletion of non-renewable sources, emission of GHGs, and use of massive amounts of water & energy). 

Therefore, when shopping for clothes and school bags, try to buy them second-hand and dispose of old supplies properly (i.e., donate, swap, sell, upcycle, etc.)

Be sure to check out our top green shopping tips!

  1. Buy used textbooks 

Buying used textbooks helps reduce the number of books being created, saving trees. It is an easy and affordable way to be environmentally friendly.