As September rolls around and school looms around the corner parents begin the BIG purchasing event. Yes, as parents we know the shopping list gets huge at this time. In this environmentally aware time, we need to find ways to keep back to school green.
The School Supply List: This can be a tough one, the is often paper,duo-tangs, pencils, crayons and backpacks that need to be brought to school. One way to lessen the waste is to buy in bulk and let your children divide it, that way there is less packaging (Packaging is a pet peeve of mine, aaahhhh). Many of the items can be recycled from the previous year, if so that is the perfect solution. Or you can recycle some of last years supplies and purchase a few new ones as a compromise. Some schools are registered with School Start. www.schoolstart.com. If so you can order your supplies required by your school directly and they are delivered to the school for the first day. Backpacks need to carry a lot of weight and are treated roughly, so a quality one is worth it. L.L.Bean www.llbean.com carries one that will actually last the school term. A Canadian company that carries great backpacks is http://www.kangabags.ca ; it is located in Summerland, B.C.
School Clothes: Your children will need some new duds. They often want everything new; an alternate plan is to buy one new outfit and the rest from a great on-line consignment store like www.catchingfairiesclothing.com. This Calgary company offers gently used brand name clothing. They carry items from newborn to 12 years plus, some are Gap, Gymboree and Juicy Couture. There are also brand jeans for Mom, 7 for All Mankind, Citizens for Humanity and Paige. As the website says Get the Look Without The Price. There is no store front so it carries a very low carbon foot print.
Lunches: To stop the lunches from being wrapped in plastic and tossed in the land fill, an alternative is to purchase kangsac bags from www.huckleberrybabyshop.com. They are water-resistant and have a zippered closure and are made in Canada. Also be sure to get a gret thermos and stainless steel water bottle at www.mec.ca, they have approx 40 on-line. A lunch bag can also be made from recycled kool-aid containers, instructions found at www.mommyknows.com
Transportation: Walk. All of the studies say children are not getting enough exercise so for those months when it is nice, either walk or bike ride, or hire an older neighborhood child to accompany them. Carpool.
Laundry: It is a necessary evil so let’s do it right. Check out www.norwex.ca, they offer bio-degradable detergent with no fillers, great window cloths and those amazing dryer balls that reduce drying time and static cling. They also have anitbac travel paks that include 3 micro-fibre cloths, which clean with only water. This is a good item for your car rides or to put in your kid’s backpack.
Electronics: This is a very important item for the tween and teenage crowd. If needing to purchase a cell phone, it is possible to obtain a re-conditioned one from your phone company, www.telus.net Other electronics can be picked up for a great price at www.cashconverters.ca, they have stores in most major cities and have a very large selection of items.
It is tough getting everything ready for a new year and new class, so let’s keep our costs down and our world green.
- Can Kids Damage Their Backs with Heavy Backpacks? (5minutesformom.com)
- Trade In Your Purses For Chic Backpacks (refinery29.com)