It may still seem far off, but the school year will come quickly, along with a long list of expenses and school supplies. These include a large amount of new equipment, packaging, and disposable items. Nevertheless, it is possible to go back to school in an ecological way and reduce your ecological footprint. How? Here are some tips to guide you toward more responsible behaviour at this time of year.
It is important to first sort items from previous years, as many can be used for more than a year. You will reduce your consumption by only purchasing what is necessary. When accepted by the school, promote refillable, rather than disposable products such as mechanical pencils, pen refills, or erasers. They are not only more economical but also more ecological. Also opt for notebooks, paper, and pencils made from recycled products.
Rather than buying new, opt for second-hand backpacks, cases, clothing, and even textbooks. You may be surprised by the interesting items you find in good condition. For books, ask your school, as some offer this type of service at the beginning of the year. Consult the MesLivres website. The concept is simple: You advertise your used books, and interested people communicate with you to conclude the transaction. The site has been active for eight years now and is also aimed at high school and CEGEP students.
Another ecological and fun option: DIY sessions with your children! Why not decorate their old school bags, backpacks, and pencil cases? They will feel like they have new back-to-school gear.
Remember that if you do not use certain items, but they are still in good condition, you can give them to a donation centre, allowing less fortunate families to benefit from them.
With the end of vacation and return to school comes the return of traffic on the roads. To avoid this, why not leave the car at home? A host of options are available to you such as taking the metro or bus, walking, cycling, and even carpooling. Why not organize a transportation group in collaboration with other parents to coordinate getting children to school and activities? It’s a great way to share costs and minimize greenhouse gases.
For a zero-waste lunchbox, the word is “reuse.” Opt for reusable containers for sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and snacks. Don’t forget the utensils and reusable napkins to avoid using disposable items and include a bottle your child can fill as necessary. Also avoid individually packaged or overpackaged foods. For this reason, bulk products are preferable for the environment, in addition to being economical.
These small actions will have the effect of reducing the shopping list, saving you money, and contributing to an eco-responsible school year.
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