How to Keep Your Kids Green for Back-to-School
During the summer and on school vacations, it’s much easier for you to keep an eye on what your kids are eating, who they’re spending time with, and what they’re doing to relax. You – not their teachers – become their principal babysitters, allowing you to set up new house rules and daily schedules. If you’re a parent who’s trying to ease your family into a green lifestyle, the summer may have allowed you time to experiment with different eco-friendly practices, like favoring green transportation options, going on green vacations, and implementing more eco-friendly technologies and engineering solutions into your home, like light bulbs, new flooring or window blinds. But when your kids head back to school, it’s tempting for them to fall back on old habits, especially if their school doesn’t promote green practices. But there are ways to keep them on track: here are tips for keeping your kids green for back-to-school season.
Pack organic foods. In their lunches and snack bags, pack organic foods. Bonus points if you and your kids start a gardening project in your backyard and pack fresh fruits and veggies that they grew themselves.
Purchase environmentally friendly school supplies. This doesn’t just help the environment: it reminds your kids that they are being responsible even when they’re away from you.
Walk or ride bikes to school. If your kids aren’t old enough to walk or bike to school on their own, accompany them at least a couple of mornings a week to cut down on all of the pollution of a school bus or your own car. Carpool with neighbor kids if you live too far away.
Encourage your kids to recycle. Most schools at least have recycling bins in the cafeteria and in classrooms, and remind your kids to use them instead of the trash whenever possible.
Use both sides of the paper for homework. When helping your child with homework, use both sides of the paper before reaching for another sheet.
Use hand-me-downs. School supplies, backpacks and clothes from older siblings should be passed down to younger kids if they’re still in good condition.
Suggest that your kids’ teachers take students on environmentally conscious field trips. These may include a trip that just uses less energy and emits less pollution, or a field trip to a nature center or other location that promotes eco-friendly practices.
This post was contributed by Amber Hensley, who writes about the accredited online college. She welcomes your feedback at AmberHensley1980@ yahoo.com