Greener Back to School for Kids and Adults

jar of pencilsThinking about greener ways to go back to school isn’t just for kids. Most adults use many of the same kinds of supplies that kids use in school. We may no longer need crayons, but we all use paper and writing utensils and scissors and tape. We all eat lunch and need some way to carry our gear around.

I’ll be writing about ways to green your back-to-school purchases in the coming weeks and I’ll include items for adults as well. We’ll look at school and office supplies as well as green backpacks and messenger bags and briefcases.

But for now, a few general tips:

One of the best ways to be greener with your supplies is to buy less. Take a thorough stock of what you already have and then organize those supplies so they’re easy to find. If you have something at home that will work, don’t feel pressured to buy something new just because it’s on a list.

When you do purchase new, go for products made from recycled materials and avoid chemicals whenever possible. Pass on PVC and BPA. The easiest thing to do is look for products that say they are BPA and PVC-free. If they don’t say it, they probably have these chemicals in them.

Also consider buying things that will last. You can pick up a backpack for $5 at some stores, but is it really worth it if it has to be replaced several times over the course of one school year? Why not buy one quality bag that will last? You may end up spending less money in the long run and for sure you’ll end up creating less waste.

Stay tuned for product suggestions and reviews. If there’s anything in particular you want me to focus on, please email more or let me know in the comments.

Photo Credit: Merelymel13