An eco-friendly back-to-school plan is easy if you include several of the 7 tips below. Like any green lifestyle, a big factor is not buying what you don’t need.

A feature image for a blog post about eco-friendly back-to-school.

You can also maintain many of these green ideas throughout the school year for even greater environmental wins.

1. Communicate with Kids about Choices

The first thing you should do before the back-to-school shopping starts is have a conversation with your kids about the greener choices you want to make.

I remember well shopping with my son and the pressure on both of us to buy everything new and have the latest trendy items.

However, if you talk with your children about the importance of caring for the planet, and the role they can play as responsible citizens, you’ll help them feel proud of their choices.

Children are often much more cooperative if they understand the reasons behind what you want them to do. Make them part of the decision-making process and they’ll develop lifelong eco-friendly habits.

2. Don’t Buy Unnecessary School Supplies

With school supplies, the first thing to do is take inventory of what you already have.

Don’t rush out and buy a bunch of new notebooks and pencils if you already have some to use up.

Also, if your child’s school sends out a list of what is needed to get started, stick to it. Resist the cute or trendy items that may never get used.

Another eco-friendly way to go is to buy quality items and use them over again. Backpacks are a good example of this. Your child doesn’t need a new one each year if the one they have lasts.

3. Look for Eco-Friendly School Supplies

Also dealing with school supplies, try to shop for eco-friendly choices where you can.

I realize that these options may also be more expensive and back-to-school shopping needs to have a budget. So, do what you can without breaking the bank.

And as I mentioned above, sometimes a high-quality item is the greener choice because it will last longer and not end up in the landfill so soon. Looking for sales is a great way to get a good deal on a quality item and still stay within your budget.

4. Shop for Second Hand School Clothes

Kids like to have new clothes for going back to school, but it doesn’t mean buying a whole new wardrobe full of fast fashion items.

You can compromise by allowing your child one new outfit and buying the rest as quality secondhand pieces from thrift stores.

Some parents also arrange a swap or exchange event to make better use of clothing that no longer fits the children.

There are many ways to keep clothing out of the landfill and provide your family with sustainable clothing choices.

5. Use Eco-Friendly School Commuting

Getting to and from school and related activities is another area where you can develop green routines.

Some of the options include taking the school bus or other public transportation, walking, riding a bike, or carpooling.

If your children are younger, you can arrange walking or biking in groups with the supervision of an adult. The adults can take turns with the supervising.

Also, if you must use your vehicle to transport your child to and from school and other activities, don’t idle your car while you wait. It adds pollution to an already stressed environment.

6. Buy Used Textbooks

Like clothing, you can also buy used textbooks. It isn’t necessary to buy all of your required books new unless you have no other choice.

Again, shopping used book sites, arranging to swap or exchange, and even borrowing are all ways to avoid paper wastage and excess production.

7. Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Packing an eco-friendly lunch is an excellent daily routine that will cut down on food waste and trash.

To make the lunch greener, you can use real cutlery, reusable containers, beeswax wraps and snack bags, and real napkins.

You’ll need to do careful planning and shopping to stay organized for the week, but it’s worth it, and you’ll enjoy the budget savings, too.

So, there you have 7 tips to help with your eco-friendly back-to-school plan. It’s a better way to live for your family’s health and the environment, which are closely connected.

If you have other tips and tricks you want to add, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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