It’s never too early to start introducing and encouraging zero waste habits. Heading back to school can be an exciting whirlwind of planning and prepping, and setting up and settling into a new routine is a great opportunity to support eco-friendly choices. While these tips are aimed at kids, they make perfect sense for students of any age!
Green Tips For Lunches
There have never been more options for eco-friendly lunch boxes, and reusable bags and food wraps, and so many come in fun colours and patterns that kids love. With lunches and snacks, the more you can prepare at home (instead of relying on cafeterias and the local corner stores), the more you can be sure your kids are getting healthy, tasty, additive-free nutrition, and again, it seems like every year there are more and more fun, tasty products designed to help kids actually enjoy making those healthy choices. For extra fussy eaters it can help to get them involved in the whole process, from shopping, to baking, to packing. Being careful not to over pack can help reduce food waste, and if your child’s school doesn’t have a food composting program you can encourage them to bring their leftovers home for composting. We also have loads of cute and colourful options available for reusable water bottles and non-disposable straws that can be used for all kinds of drinks, and it can be really fun for kids to pick their own. (Be sure to check your beverage choices for added sugars!) It can also be good to have a chat with kids about the importance of staying hydrated, and how they can refill their reusable water bottle at school fountains. Let them know it can help their energy, mood, and concentration!
Green Tips For School Supplies
A new year, a new list of school supplies! If you start off by having a good hunt around at home, you may find you already have quite a few of the items on the list. While it can be fun to get new sets of everything, try to emphasize the importance of zero waste when you can, and maybe choose an exciting new reusable pencil case to carry those already well-loved crayons in. For what you do need to buy new, it’s good to keep in mind that some brands use less packaging than others, and that you can look for paper and notebooks made out of recycled, acid-free papers.
Green Tips For Getting Outside
If you have time to walk with your kids, or if it’s safe for them to walk, ride, or scoot without adult supervision—or even if you can get them to the schoolyard a bit early for a pre-classroom play session from time to time—a little exercise and fresh air before the bell rings can be great for focus in the classroom, and can contribute to overall health. Find a non-toxic sunscreen to protect them from the sun and remind them to reapply it for recess and lunch breaks, especially on extra-sunny days!
We wish you and your little ones all the best for the new school year!