Actualizado: 18 de ago de 2020
It’s time to check and start preparing all for the new school year. What your kids will need and what we can skip from the long list, how to be more eco-friendly, and learn your kids to be too? Here you can find our recommendations based on 7 R in Sustainability.
1. Rethink – Do you really need it?
First step: ¨Rethink¨ the situation. Do you need new stuff or I can reuse something from the last year? Buy a school item sometimes is a nightmare for the parents, because of time, money, fight with the other parents for the last school bag available. For sure one of the most useful items is to have a school checklist, provided by the teacher as every year the kids need some specific items. Once you have the list, check what your kid already has and what is missing. Try to buy only the essential, don't transform your home in a paper shop. Buy new stuff also could be eco-friendly. Let's see some examples:
➯ buy useful and high quality products.
➯ replace some items (if they are already broken or non-usable anymore) with eco-friendly ones.
➯ support the small, local brands.
Here is our back to basics school list with some eco-friendly gems:
6. Eco Sprout Pencils with book made by 100% biodegradable peper
2. Refuse – Say No to …
Let's go to step 2. Say NO to something and especially to your kid could be difficult, but we should know where the limits are. Always try to find a balance between the direct NO and the soft ''let's change this with that'' showing to your kid the benefits.
Say NO to...
➯ buy it, just because your kids' schoolmate has it and your kid is obsessed
➯ the plastic (non-biodegradable garbage bags for transporting school projects, plastic food packaging, etc)
➯ print if you don't need to. If you can’t avoid it, just follow our simple rules like using recycled paper, or print in black and white. Try to print on both sides and if possible 4 pages on 1 leaf. Last but not least use eco-friendly toners and recycle them in the green points. Motivate your kids to send their homework via e-mail (when this is possible, depending on the age and if you have pc at home) or written down. The main reason to write homework is to learn and make mistakes, not to be perfect.
3. Reduce – How many pairs/ sets of those do you need?
Step 3 is related to step 1. Buy only the items your kid needs now. Less is more. It is not necessary to have all possible colors, brands, post-its in different shapes, etc when it doesn’t use them and all the time writing with the same pencil…Don’t forget that good organization is essential to reduce and avoid unnecessary expenses and purchases.
Reduce your footprint using a bike or public transport to bring your kids to school. The busiest parents will say: '' I don't have time, I should go to kindergarten, then to the school, than to work, on a way back to buy food....yes, maybe is not so fast and easy, but we will be able to find an excuse in each situation. Just try to transform this day by day task inhabit.
Reduce junk food - prepare a portion of healthy food and snacks for your kids. Of course, use recipients that are also eco-friendly and bottle for multi-use.
4. Re-use– Can you use it for something else?
Step 4 is a step to your creativity. Find a way to be more responsible for natural resources. Here some advice:
Food boxes and a bottle of water. Now a day there are a million options to avoid the use of plastic bottles or to wrap food for your kids in a multi-uses box or eco-wrap paper. Some clever ideas are included in our list above (items 4, 5, 11).
Give the 2nd life of not finished notebooks. Your kid starts a new notebook but is almost empty. Just cut the used leaves and your kid will have a new notebook for a minute. Also, your kid can use a big notebook for the 2 school year which is also helpful because it can check for some forgotten information.
Use junk paper – try to implement the use of junk paper of your kids draft homework, or make a small notebook or posts.
Use second-hand textbooks? - Why not?! When I was a student it was forbidden to write in the textbooks, because the following year we sold them to the students of the previous year and with the money, we bought the books we needed. In this way, not so many trees and ink were spent on the production of textbooks and we were more eco-friendly and cost-effective.
Use books from the library – always when is possible. There is nothing better to have your bookshelf, but every time we have less space at home and most boxes with staff. Using the library books and materials is very useful and eco-friendly too.
Use an old t-shirt for the art class - we all know the best laundry detergent advertising that removes all stains from your kids' clothes, but let's be more practical.
Repurpose and reuse goes hand by hand. Some smart options below:
What to do with the old paper? Before you recycle the old paper, think if there is something useful you can do with it.
➯ Wrap the fruit to ripen
➯ Use it as gift wrapping (for example artworks of your kids, when you wrap a gift for a grandma)
➯ Create eco-paper
➯ Paper Decoration, using this book with 40 Paper Projects
➯ Other Practical Crafts for Kids you can find in this book
What to do with cans and jars? You can use them to organize pencils, pens, markers, etc.
6. Repair – Can it be fixed?
Not all can be fixed, but sometimes we are better repairmen we think.
Buy a new item is always quick and sometimes cheaper (because of the quality), but after a short time of use is broken again…is there sense to buy every time a low-quality product or it’s better to buy once, but something we can use maybe 2-3 years. Let’s take an example – the school backpack. Every year the parents spend a lot of money to buy a new one. But why? Because is old fashion already? Because is not comfortable or maybe is broken. But before just go to the shop and buy the first one, just check and see: what need my kid (small/big backpack, light, with wheels or my teenager don’t want to use a backpack anymore and one eco bag will be more useful for her or him?).
Insider tip: If the old backpack is just ¨not trendy this year in school¨, just ¨rethink¨ the idea to throw in the trash – maybe your kid can use it for Green school or weekend in the mountain.
Another important part is the paper we use every day. One smart way to ¨repair¨ the problem with the forest is to plant with your children a tree every year, when the school year starts. On that way you will made them more eco friendly and remind them that the use of paper should be responsible.
Show to your kids to have this as habit. Start with small things, but try to include this habit in everything from food until vacation time. Here some practical examples:
➯ be sure that your children know how to recycle correctly - for example, the difference between clean and used (greasy) paper.
➯ take out the specific items into the specific places, like print toners or batteries in the green points
➯ recycle old pieces furnitures or donate them
➯ recycle PC, Laptop, I-pads or donate them to ONGs
All is in our hands and all depend on our decisions. And before said that each eco product is more expensive, just think of the quality of life you will have, using them. If you consume responsibly, we will maintain the economy and save the planet. We can not change everything immediately, but we can start from somewhere and do our small steps to more green future everyday. A good kids book in this way is ''10 things I can do to help my world''
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