Now that summer is here, and the days are shortening, many kids and parents are getting ready to go back to school. With that said everyone is gearing up for back-to-school sales and retail overload as stocks of pencils, pens, and paper are in anticipation of a year full of learning. So, how do you combine your education with the planet's three R's of reduce, reuse, and recycle? Here's how to follow up your green summer, full of green barbeques and fun, with a green school year.
Though it happens every year, we still seem programmed to spending alot more planned on tons of new stuff. The average family with school-aged children will spend $594.24 on back-to-school purchases this year. And, while schooling requires supplies, we too often turn to disposable supplies to do the job six billion pens are thrown away in the U.S. every year, for example. Plus, going back to school offers a clean slate for a fresh start that can inspire New Year's-like resolutions, like, riding your bike every day to school, packing a lunch,these new resolutions often also require more stuff (like a new bike, to use one of the above examples), so be sure you aren't overstating your goals and biting off more than you can chew.
Preparation is important, but so is following your green prep with green behavior, extending your good green start to behaviors that last all year. For example, every ton of paper or 220,000 sheets that is recycled saves approximately 17 trees. For scale, the average school tosses 38 tons of paper the equivalent of 644 trees each year, so purchasing post-consumer recycled paper, and making sure that it gets recycled again, can make a big difference.