Everyone is getting on the GREEN bandwagon and I’m the first to applaud this initiative. After all, it’s in our best interests to reduce waste and decrease our dependence on scarce natural resources. With back to school on everyone’s mind, I put together a GREEN checklist for parents:
• An obvious way to reduce waste is to send packed lunches in re-useable containers. As a teacher, the mountains of garbage in the lunchroom always appalled me.
• Label your kids’ stuff! It saves having to re-buy school supplies and clothing if your child’s misplaced items get returned to you. I highly recommend Mabel’s Labels, www.mabel.ca, as a great product (the labels actually stick!).
• Buy used textbooks. It will save you a ton of money because used books sell for 50% of the original cost but, more importantly, re-using products reduces the amount of stuff that ends up in our landfill sites.
• Encourage teachers NOT to re-order the latest edition of textbooks each year. Usually, there are only minor changes with each new edition so the only people benefitting from this practice are the book publishers.
• Ask if your children can submit their homework via email or portable USB drive in order to help reduce the paper trail.
• Encourage your child to ride their bike or walk to school and make sure they lock it up properly when they get there. Unless they have a huge project to hand in, there’s no reason to drive them to school. Even on rainy days, kids won’t melt in the rain. Snow is also not a good excuse for driving. As a kid, it’s more fun to walk home on a snowy day. It may take longer to get home because of the snowball fights and snow angels but who cares! What’s the rush when you’re a kid?
• Please make sure your child always wears their safety helmet when riding their bike. Worried they may lose their safety helmet … that’s another way Mabel’s Labels can help!
• Do you have anything else you’d like to add to my list? Would love to hear from you with your suggestions and comments!