by A.K. Scott
How to go green while shopping for school supplies.
| This time of year, all of us are going back to school, whether we want to or not. But going back to school gives us a great and simple way to go green.
1. Before racking up supplies and clothes, online or off, think about this:
* Am I going to ride my bike or carpool, so that I can save gas and energy?
* Do I really need a new ruler?
*Am I going to use that brand new lunch box, most days, and be careful to recycle any trash that I have?
Make sure to buy only what you absolutely need, so that you can save money and have what you need.
2. Know what you have and stay away from multiples.
Before going shopping, see what supplies you already have so you don't waste money, and can do a green action, by reusing. This means it won't be thrown out in a landfill, and cause even more harm to Mother Earth. One of the other benefits that come with taking inventory is to not buy multiple items. So those pens that were so cool last month still need to be used and not replaced another 64-pack of plastic pens. Because, that gives plastic manufacturers more chances to create more plastic, which will most likely not be recycled after it has been used. Then again being tossed out into a landfill.
* Excess supplies are great for spares around your house, so keep those pens and pencils in a drawer for whenever your pen runs out of ink.
* When a pen is not able to write anymore, recycle the plastic body, and discard the ink tube.
3. Choose greener supplies.
When shopping for basic supplies, try to go for pens and paper that are made from post-consumer recycled products. Some brands that carry these types of supplies include, Sasquatch, Greenroom, Bic, and Mead. You can also be sure its eco-friendly if you find the Forest Stewardship Council certification label on it.
4. Buy green clothes.
Put some green clothes in your wardrobe this year, and still maintain a uniform. Instead of buying brand new clothes, reuse old outfits, or follow these tips:
* Go to vintage and thrift stores to find different choices of clothing, while you are still reusing old clothes.
* Have " Swapping" Parties. Gather a bunch of friends and swap clothes with each other, so that you can be seen in something different, while saving money and getting more out of your sweater.
5. Be careful when choosing your lunchbox.
Instead of using brown bags, look for a reusable and washable container to carry your lunch in. Avoid vinyl lunchboxes, because they have been shown to have very high amounts of lead in them, that can be very harmful. Instead, lean towards a PVC-free container, that is easily washable and thermally insulated. These lunchboxes while keep your food warm and cold, so you won't have to drink warm juice. When packing your food, try your best to have a waste-free lunch, for example, packing your sandwich in a Tupperware container, and your juice in a reusable bottle.
* When you use plastic bottles, try to reuse them as long as you can, and when you are through, recycle it .
6. Have green transportation.
Set up a carpooling group, or take the bus, both will transport more people on less gas, this will save you money, while you get to see your friends.
7. Do it all year.
Following these rules will help you go green at school, and bring us one step closer to making the world a better place!