Eco Friday: 10 Ways to have a Greener School Year

This year, why not encourage your kids’ school to go greener. Here are some tips from a past blog post on how to do that:
  1. Swap it out. Hold a clothing and school gear swap party with other families in the neighborhood. It’s a great way for the kids to get “new” clothes and backpacks without hurting the planet, plus it saves money. Another great tip was to visit trading sites like ThredUP.com to swap clothes your kids no longer wear for newer duds.
  2. Throw a closet-cleaning party. Clean out closets before going shopping to see what fits, what can be repurposed or what can be donated. Make it a fun activity for the whole family to do together–turn on some music, serve some snacks and have a fashion show!
  3. Put a new twist on something old. Pull out your sewing machine, material stockpile and accessories to re-invent hand-me-downs. It’s a fun and creative activity for the family, saves money and encourages the kids to enjoy recycled clothing.
  4. Extend the life of your crayons. Take crayons from the previous school year, melt them and pour them into molds to create different shaped crayons. Once cooled, you have cool “new” crayons.
  5. Save on textbooks and conserve paper. Buy used text books from students who were previously in your kids’ grades. College students can use textbook renting sites such as Chegg.com, which even plants a tree for each book rented. And if you buy a textbook on Amazon.com, you can sell them back for gift cards to use towards next year’s books!
  6. Plan a supply hunt. Organize a pen, pencil and notebook scavenger hunt around the house–you’d be amazed what you can find in drawers and bags. It’s a fun rainy day project for kids, and a great way to reuse the supplies you’ve already bought.
  7. Give supplies a facelift. You can add some flair to old school supplies that are still useable. Fill an old binder with un-used pages from cast-off notebooks, recover them with sturdy fabric and then break open the craft drawer and let your kids go wild! Last year’s binder becomes a work of art.
  8. Make it a game. Each morning, get out the stopwatch and have everyone race through the house to ensure all lights are off and appliances and electronics are unplugged. This helps save energy, and reduces your electricity bill and burns off excess energy!
  9. Paint the classroom green. Encourage your child’s school administrators to have recycle bins in the schoolyard, classroom and hallways so kids develop the habit early. If your school doesn’t have recycling, bring in your own bins and set up a collection schedule with other parents! If your town is a Recyclebank community, families can take turns collecting bins and share the coupons with the classroom. Many towns supply recycling bins to residents, but if yours doesn’t places like Home Depot and Target sell them.
  10. Form a club. If you have junior high or high school aged kids, ask your school if you can form a “Green Club.” Members can serve as green ambassadors in their respective classrooms, and help raise awareness and implement school-wide eco-friendly actions.

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