That’s right, Gwinnett! It’s nearly time for back-to-school! But before those big yellow buses start ambling around the neighborhood streets again, there’s a time-honored tradition that simply can’t be ignored… back-to-school shopping! So download those lists from the school website (onto your phone or tablet to avoid actually printing them out) and then make your way to the stores to stock up before the first bell rings to mark the start of the 2015-2016 school year. While shopping, keep in mind that there are a number of ways that you can play the role of environmental steward – while teaching a valuable lesson to your kids.
- Reduce: By purchasing school supplies made from recycled products, you’ll be reducing the impact on the environment. For example, take recycled paper products. Did you know paper can be recycled up to SEVEN TIMES? The energy alone saved by processing recycled paper vs. virgin paper is enough to power the average American house for six months*. In addition to paper products, you can also invest in earth-friendly solar-powered calculators, backpacks made from recycled plastic bottles, and so much more. For another great way to “reduce” our impact on the environment, if your child is a car rider, consider setting up a carpool with several other families in the neighborhood.
- Reuse: Whatever you call it – vintage, retro or thrift store chic – one of the most eco-conscious ways to build a back-to-school wardrobe is to shop at consignment or thrift shops. If that’s really not your student’s speed, you can still play a vital role in the reuse cycle by donating the clothes they outgrow to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, local church thrift shops or even a neighbor down the street. Another important way to “reuse” is to use a lunchbox or thermal tote with reusable sandwich/snack containers each day, instead of paper lunch bags and plastic baggies.
- Recycle: Once school is back in session, the floorboard of your car and dining room table are likely to become a flurry of flyers and graded homework. With the exception of the A+ work that makes the cut for the refrigerator gallery, be sure to recycle your star student’s homework by placing them in the recycling bin regularly. For a complete list of other materials that you can recycle curbside, be sure to visit the Gwinnett County government website.
To all of the students out there, we wish you a Happy and Successful school year!
Your Friends at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful
Image Credit: 2happy/Stockvault