Students Heading Back To School Go Green- Click This Link to See a Recent Channel 10 Interview with Ian and Maria
Its wonderful to see so many ‘green’ back-to-school products this year out in stores. All companies want to be green and some are greener than others, so make sure you do your homework before making those purchases. Look for products made from post-consumer recycled materials and products bearing the Forest Stewardship Council logo. Products bearing the FSC logo guarantee that the wood is from a certified well-managed forest.
Remember the first R is Reduce, so don’t buy more than you need. According to the Story of Stuff.com, 99% of the stuff we purchase (in North America) is trashed within 6 months of buying it. “How can we run a planet on that level of materials throughput?”, asks Annie Leonard.
The average American generates 4.5 pounds of garbage everyday! Floridians make twice the national average at 9 pounds of waste a day. And that is just a small portion of the trash created upstream to make the things we buy. From the Story of Stuff, for every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream (in production of the products we purchase) to create that one garbage can of junk.
There are a few additional things you can do to make your child’s school year more sustainable. Find out if your school has a recycling program, and not just for paper. Plastic water and juice bottles, cans and glass are a major source of waste. Lunches are a big source of waste also. It’s estimated that on average, schoolchildren generate 67 pounds of waste every year thanks to the plastic baggies, brown bags, and other waste used to pack lunches. Buy your child a reusable drink bottle, get rid of the brown paper bag lunch and try a laptop lunch box with reusable containers. Pack a cloth napkin rather than a paper napkin.
Many schools are adopting edible schoolyard garden projects. Find out if your child’s school has one. These projects are excellent ways to connect children to the natural world around them as well as their food supply. They serve as hands-on science laboratories. Children can also learn about vermiculture as a means to compost their lunch scraps.
Everyone taking small steps together leads to big change.
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- Overconsumption is costing us the earth and human happiness (guardian.co.uk)
- Waste-Free School Lunches (1800recycling.com)
- Green Your Kid’s Packed School Lunch: The Buy Guide (Slideshow) (treehugger.com)
- Litter Free Lunch – Making Kids A Greener Lunch (chicagonow.com)
- Do One Thing: Bring Home Your Recyclables. (thegoodhuman.com)