Top 10 Green Tips for Back-to-School


Another school year! Seems like every year flies by a little faster than the previous one.  It is never too late to incorporate ways of being green when it comes to school. In fact, teaching our young children to lead greener, healthier lives is the best way to ensure a safer, more promising future for them and our planet.  I recently wrote an article on ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle when planning for Back-to-School. To read the original article: Click here.

The following is a general list I created of the Top 10 Ways to Go Green that can be incorporated into your family’s routine beginning with Back-to-School and all the way through to the end of the year. 

1. Reduce and Reuse. Make sure you buy just what you need. Avoid unnecessary waste. Look around your home to check some items off of the back-to-school list. Go through last year’s supplies for reusable ones too.

2.  Upcycle! Use last year’s backpack or lunch box. You can always decorate them with patches, stickers and markers to give them a new look.

3.  Shop at second-hand stores. You would be surprised at the unique styles and finds you’ll encounter. If your school requires uniforms, consider buying used ones. If not, buy one a couple sizes larger so you can alter and use it for another year or two.

4. Use a Kindle or used book.  If you need to buy your own books, rely on the library whenever possible. If not, perhaps you can use a Kindle or shop for used ones. Don’t hesitate to ask anyone and everyone you know that may have a book you need sitting on their home library shelf. Make sure to protect your books so you can sell them or donate them to someone who needs them the following year.

School Supplies 35. Avoid plastic. Choose recycled and sustainable materials….recycled paper, refillable pencils, wooden rulers, non-toxic and eco-friendly crayons and paints, etc.

6. Pack a waste–free lunch…reusable lunch boxes and bags, water container, napkins, silverware, etc. Today you can find some really cute sets and designs.

7. Pack a healthy lunch! Locally sourced fruits and veggies, organic and gmo-free meals and snacks, etc. Many of these items even come in eco-friendly packaging.

 8.  If possible, walk your child to school. Older kids can ride their bikes. If distance is a factor, organize a carpool.  Carpools are also great for sporting events and other extracurricular activities.

9. Recycle and Green Club. Put together a student committee who is in charge of recycling and organizing “Green” events. Plant a school garden! Encourage the administration to adopt email communication and to become involved with an official green and recycling program.

10. Host a swap party at the end of the year for uniforms, clothing and other school supplies. Set aside all items you will be able to use the following year.

While you might pay a little extra for certain school items, you will be reducing your family’s carbon footprint, as well as increasing the chances you can reuse most items for years to come.  In the end, you will save money and help save the planet. 


6 responses to this post.

  1. Swap parties are a great idea for clothes, backpacks and supplies. At the end of each school year I hold on to the school supplies to avoid them getting lost or played with. If my kids cannot reuse them, someone else’s can.

    All great tips!


  2. Posted by upliftingfam on August 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

    These are great ideas. I make my kids reuse some of their old supplies like their lunch box, backpack, locks, scissors, rulers, pencil bags (i buy the sturdy ones so they can be used for multiple years). I also tend to shop clearance items for my kids clothes and I have also found good things at second hand stores.


  3. […] Top 10 Green Tips for Back-to-School ( […]


  4. […] the end of August, as Summer vacation came to an end, I wrote the article “Top 10 Green Tips for Back-to-School“.  I wrote a similar article for the GreenDeals Go Green Blog, “Ways to Reduce, Reuse […]


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