Sustainable Back-to-School Tips

Posted by: Mary Kate Ranii on August 16, 2017

The start of the school year is just around the corner which means that it’s time for the 3 R’s of the academic world (reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic) to meet the 3 R’s of the environmental movemnt (reduce, reuse, recycle)!

Work with the students in your life to make this school year the greenest yet with these tips!

1. Reuse last year’s supplies! According to The Economist, approximately 15-20 billion pencils are produced each year, using tens of thousands of trees to produce! Conserve our natural resources by reusing last year’s pencils, pens, binders, and school supplies! Decorate older binders and folders with stickers or artwork to make them feel fresh! If your student does need some new materials, choose ones that are made of 100% post-consumer recycled content.

2. Take the bus! According to the American School Bus Council, school buses save 62 BILLION miles being driven by cars every year by transporting students by bus. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that burning one gallon of gasoline releases 20 pounds of greenhouse gases meaning that using the school bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by billions of pounds every year! (Not to mention cutting back on your fuel costs!)

3. Find the perfect back to school outfit! Shop in thrift or second-hand stores or arrange for a clothing swap with friends and family to find a new outfit that is easy on your wallet and easy on the planet! Need to purchase new clothing? Prioritize purchasing clothes made with sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo.

4. Pack zero waste lunches! Pack your child’s lunch in reusable containers and avoid single-use containers & packaging to fight waste!

5. Teach green! Encourage your school to host environmental programs to teach students to be lifelong environmental stewards. Check out PRC’s in-school environmental programs on topics ranging from recycling to watersheds and much more!


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