When it comes to the care and feeding of children, there are a lot of environmentally responsible choices you can make.
Step 1: Pack eco-friendly lunches Prepare eco-friendly lunches by creating your own snack-size portions in reusable containers. If they can’t use the school’s cutlery, pack them off with the non-disposable kind… if they can be trusted to bring it back!
Step 2: Supply your kids with notebooks made from recycled paper, biodegradable pens, recycled pencils, and solar-powered calculators, all of which are available online or at larger supply stores.
TIP: Avoid vinyl binders; the manufacturing process releases dangerous dioxins into the environment.
Step 3: Stuff their school supplies in an eco-friendly backpack made of recycled rubber or hemp.
Step 4: Have a catchall box Demonstrate the value of reusing items, while at the same time stoking your kids’ creativity, by designating one box or basket an Arts & Crafts Catchall. Encourage the whole family to toss in odds and ends that might be useful in an art project — scraps of paper, pieces of ribbon & string, parts of discarded or broken toys, & empty paper rolls.
Step 5: Grow something Grow something with your child. If you can manage a small vegetable patch, great. But even a small windowsill herb garden will impart lessons on the joys of fresh, homegrown food.
Step 6: Do as you say Teach your children by word and deed. Explain to them why you bring your own shopping totes to the supermarket and don’t leave the water running while your brush your teeth. If you’re consistent, eco-friendly choices will become a way of life for them, too.
FACT: Over a billion pounds a year of waste comes from lunch box garbage!