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New Year, new goals! Before getting school supplies for the new school year, you might want to take a quick minute to think about the environmental impact you have on the planet.

This year, you can adopt some ecofriendly habits to reduce your carbon footprint on our earth. Whether you’re attending high school or uni, or you’re sending your own children to school, why not set the precedent at the beginning of the year, to help carry these good habits through the entire school year!

Let us make it easy on you by giving you some of our zero-waste tips to help you avoid plastic while prepping for the year ahead!

Reusable is In, Disposable is Out

It’s much more eco-friendly to pack your lunch rather than ordering out every day. Investing in reusable supplies at the beginning of the year can help you stay committed to some sustainable practices for the remainder of the year.

Get a good stainless steel lunch box, stainless steel/glass containers and a set of bamboo utensils. If you or your kids like drinking from straws, there are great options for reusable straws that you can purchase as well.

Pick out a good reusable water bottle that can be refilled throughout the day. Make a vow to yourself to say “no” to any plastic water bottles this year!

Lastly, one item most people forget about is napkins. Even though they aren’t plastic, they still add waste to our planet. Be sure to pack a cloth napkin or two in your lunch box.

Make it a habit to pack these items in your daily bag when attending Uni. You never know when friends will want to go grab a bite or make plans.

Buy Locally

When you buy locally, you aren’t just supporting your community, you are also decreasing your carbon footprint. Imagine the gas needed to ship produce across the country – or even worse, the world. Supporting local farmers helps cut those transportation emissions.

As for the meals, try to plan and prep early in the week for what kind of meals you’ll cook and pack for the following days. Take your reusable bags and head over to your local farmer’s market to stock up on fruits and vegetables. There may even be homemade bread or baked goods that you can wrap up in your own eco-friendly bread bag instead of getting the plastic wrapped bread at your grocery store.

Knowledge Lasts Forever, School Supplies Shouldn’t

Don’t be overwhelmed by the never ending list of “necessary” school supplies. Half of the items bought for school aren’t even used. Skip the pencil sharpeners, staplers and scissors if they aren’t absolutely needed. You can most likely borrow these items from teachers or students anyway.

Before you go school supply shopping, search through your house to see what items you already have. You’ll be surprised at how many half-used notebooks, pens and pencils are in your house. If you do find half used notebooks, use them! If you are in need of notebook paper, there are tons of compostable notebooks out there to choose from.

Ideally however, these days you can type your notes on your laptop or tablet. Especially for university classes, there’s not even a need for paper except for a certain class or two. Most notes and PowerPoints are electronic, making it easier to decrease your waste and helps to keep your notes organized in one place as a bonus!

Over 1.6 billion pens are thrown away each year according to the EPA (1). Avoid all plastic disposable pens the best you can. Use wooden or bamboo pencils as much as possible. Choosing these options can greatly reduce the amount of floating plastic in our oceans!

Are You Really in Need of Clothes?

The fashion industry makes us believe that we need new clothes every season (or even every week). Don’t let their marketing techniques trick you into thinking you need more clothes. The planet has a huge problem dealing with fast fashion. Before you go out and get the “latest” trends, really evaluate what you already have.

Most likely you have everything you need!
If you find yourself needing a specific article of clothing, try heading to your local thrift store first. Most times you can find unique pieces that no one else will have and it’s less money! Win-Win!

We hope these ecofriendly tips help you succeed at prepping to go back to school! Let this be the year you become a conscious consumer. Start by making earth friendly choices that will last throughout the school year and through many more to come!

1. https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=2000URC7.txt

 

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