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10 tips for sustainability

The last weeks of the holidays are over and it’s almost time to go back to school. Sales and promotions are everywhere. But what do you do if you want to send your child back to school more sustainable and conscious? How do you make ecological ‘back to school’ choices? Here are ten tips for sustainable schooldays.

1

inventorise

Make a list of everything your children will need for the year ahead. Get together all the school items they already have from previous years. What do they still have? Do they really need a new pencil case or ruler? Will their pencils last another year?

2

sell or give away

Maybe their backpack is a little too small now or their book covers are showing wear and tear. Before throwing everything in a bin bag, though, see how you can make other people happy with these items. Try selling them second-hand or give them away to a local charity. If they’re really past it now, don’t forget to recycle them. Look here to be inspired by what we’re doing at fred + ginger.

3

choose non-toxic and eco-minded

When looking for new items for back to school, pick PVC-free backpacks, pencil cases and stationery. Instead, go for recycled PET, sustainable bamboo, or refillable pens and pencils, for example.

1

inventorise

Make a list of everything your children will need for the year ahead. Get together all the school items they already have from previous years. What do they still have? Do they really need a new pencil case or ruler? Will their pencils last another year?

2

sell or give away

Maybe their backpack is a little too small now or their book covers are showing wear and tear. Before throwing everything in a bin bag, though, see how you can make other people happy with these items. Try selling them second-hand or give them away to a local charity. If they’re really past it now, don’t forget to recycle them. Look here to be inspired by what we’re doing at fred + ginger.

3

choose non-toxic and eco-minded

When looking for new items for back to school, pick PVC-free backpacks, pencil cases and stationery. Instead, go for recycled PET, sustainable bamboo, or refillable pens and pencils, for example.

4

invest in sustainability

Yes, children break almost everything and it’s always a shame when their new backpack comes home ripped two weeks into a new term. That’s why you should invest in sustainable items that last longer. They cost a little more when you buy then, but they also last a lot longer - in the long run, they’re the cheaper option.

5

look for second-hand

At the start of each new school year there’s usually also a whole list of textbooks and reading books to buy. Look for second-hand copies; they won’t be falling apart after just one year, after all. Make sure you have the right edition, so you know your child is taking the same version to school as their classmates. At the end of the school year, you can decide to sell the books back.

4

invest in sustainability

Yes, children break almost everything and it’s always a shame when their new backpack comes home ripped two weeks into a new term. That’s why you should invest in sustainable items that last longer. They cost a little more when you buy then, but they also last a lot longer - in the long run, they’re the cheaper option.

5

look for second-hand

At the start of each new school year there’s usually also a whole list of textbooks and reading books to buy. Look for second-hand copies; they won’t be falling apart after just one year, after all. Make sure you have the right edition, so you know your child is taking the same version to school as their classmates. At the end of the school year, you can decide to sell the books back.

6

make a great lunch

Choose a funky sandwich box or a washable lunch bag. Take a refillable bottle with you every day. There are so many interesting, sustainable options. What goes in the sandwich box matters too. The best choice is local, seasonal fruit and vegetables, not cookies or fruit wrapped in plastic.

7

create a green transport plan

Take another look at how you get to school. Could you go on foot? How about by bike? If so, great! If not, you could park farther away from the school and finish the trip on foot instead of parking right at the gates. That lets you and your children enjoy a walk together every day, and you won’t be leaving your car running (and releasing polluting fumes) outside the school.

8

dress smart

Dress according to the weather and turn the heating down a few degrees. Choose eco-friendly clothing. If you’d like to know what fred + ginger are doing in terms of social responsibility, you can read more about it here.

6

make a great lunch

Choose a funky sandwich box or a washable lunch bag. Take a refillable bottle with you every day. There are so many interesting, sustainable options. What goes in the sandwich box matters too. The best choice is local, seasonal fruit and vegetables, not cookies or fruit wrapped in plastic.

7

create a green transport plan

Take another look at how you get to school. Could you go on foot? How about by bike? If so, great! If not, you could park farther away from the school and finish the trip on foot instead of parking right at the gates. That lets you and your children enjoy a walk together every day, and you won’t be leaving your car running (and releasing polluting fumes) outside the school.

8

dress smart

Dress according to the weather and turn the heating down a few degrees. Choose eco-friendly clothing. If you’d like to know what fred + ginger are doing in terms of social responsibility, you can read more about it here.

9

talk to your children

Making smart, ecological back-to-school choices is not always easy. The range of school supplies is huge. Tell your children why you choose a sustainable alternative and why that version is better for the plants, the animals and our beautiful planet. In this way they learn to consciously make ecological and planet-friendly choices.

10

start an eco-project together

You can go even one step further and start an eco-project together with your children. This can be small: make a calendar and stick a sticker on every day that you recycle. Or you can engage the entire school to banish plastic straws. Working together on an ecological project makes your children aware that everyone must take care of our planet.

9

talk to your children

Making smart, ecological back-to-school choices is not always easy. The range of school supplies is huge. Tell your children why you choose a sustainable alternative and why that version is better for the plants, the animals and our beautiful planet. In this way they learn to consciously make ecological and planet-friendly choices.

10

start an eco-project together

You can go even one step further and start an eco-project together with your children. This can be small: make a calendar and stick a sticker on every day that you recycle. Or you can engage the entire school to banish plastic straws. Working together on an ecological project makes your children aware that everyone must take care of our planet.

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