We’ve talked about green initiatives at schools across Virginia and have introduced some great green programs. As we kick through August and start gearing up to go back to school we wanted to give some thought to how YOU can be green at school.
This one is kind of out of your hands but can you go digital? Many counties across Virginia are embracing new technologies that are slowly eliminating textbooks. Many publishers and printers are using recycled paper but imagine a paper-free school! Virginia will spend about $70 million this year on textbooks. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could study a subject and click a link for more detailed information? While many schools provide computers and many counties provide laptops for students the newest wave is the tablet. Do you think that your child would like to trade in a 30-pound book bag for a tablet that weighs a little over a pound?
What’s in your supply pouch? Is it full of pens and pencils? Even if you go textbook free you’re still going to want to take some notes. Where did your pencil come from? Many companies are making pencils and pens that are more environmentally conscious. ForestChoice makes pencils from incense-cedar that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Better yet, you could burn some rubber with a Ticonderoga #2. They have a cool pencil that is certified non-toxic and made from recycled tires. Do you staple or use clips for reports? If everyone used one less staple a day we would save 120 metric tons of steel a day. That’s a lot of staples.
What’s in the lunchbox? We hope that you have a lunchbox of some sort. Paper bags are a great idea for groceries but is there really a need to burn one every day for lunch? Get a neat little tote for your goodies and snacks. You can find them antimicrobial and insulated. You can go through a ton of juice boxes between now and June so invest in a nice bottle. Earthlust makes a great product with some really cool designs. Stainless liner and a BPA-free cap. Remember to avoid those single serve products. Convenient? Yes. Environmentally responsible? No.
As summer winds down and you start to prepare for school be responsible. Now is the time to line up your car pool, hit the consignment shop for some gently used clothing and bring YOUR green to school.