5 Tips for a More Sustainable School YearAugust 16, 2011
Start the school year right with our five green tips for supporting the environment and cutting costs.
1) A Better “Brown Bag” Lunch
- Pack your children’s lunches in reusable containers and invest in a few reusable water bottles. Fewer bags, disposable containers and plastic water bottles mean less waste that winds up in landfills.
- Ask your kids’ schools to source sustainable foods for cafeteria lunches, including locally grown and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ produce. [Are you a college student? Then check out our resources to help you get Rainforest Alliance Certified goods and services on your campus.]
- Pack fruit and fresh veggies instead of chips – they’re healthy alternatives that save on wasteful packaging and processing.
- If your school has a garden, suggest that they collect organic material and create fertilizer from lunchtime waste.
2) Conscientious Commuting
- Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school. It’s a great way to reduce carbon emissions from driving while incorporating physical activity into their daily routine.
- If you live too far from the school and walking or biking isn’t an option, consider having your kids take the school bus.
- Is driving a must? Try to arrange a carpool with other parents. Doing so can minimize emissions and gas costs.
3) Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
- Remind your kids to use both sides of the page when they’re writing or printing.
- Choose recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council/Rainforest Alliance Certified paper for printers, notebooks and other paper needs.
- Recycle paper waste at home, and check to see if your kids’ schools recycle, too.
- Save money (and trees) by purchasing textbooks secondhand.
- Don’t throw away old text books — sell or donate them instead.
- Try to use school supplies from last year; many are probably still perfectly good.
- Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
5) Environmental Education
- For fun and educational games, activities, stories and forest facts, check out the “Kids’ Corner” on the Rainforest Alliance website.
- If your kids love the rainforest, treat them to the Rainforest Survival Challenge, a fun and educational iPad app.
- Tell your kids’ teachers about the Rainforest Alliance’s free curriculum, available for grades K through 8.