Green Back to School Ideas

School is here and it’s time to enter into the chaos of annual school supply shopping. Many families cringe at the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on supplies that may not even be used. What’s worse is that gently used school supplies are usually thrown out at the end of the year, causing unnecessary waste. Here are some tips on how to save money and the environment this back to school season.

The first step is to go through what’s left over from last year. You always want to take a quick look at what you already have before you go shopping so you don’t buy any duplicate supplies. Odds are you have plenty of stuff leftover that is still in working condition, so why not get your money’s worth and use them until you can’t anymore? Many big box stores know that it’s easier to just buy all new products, but by being prepared with a list of what you really need, you’re already one step ahead.

Next, look out for recycled material. Many of your favorite retailers and brands are selling products made from recycled materials. You just have to take a few extra seconds to read the label.

Clothing is just as big a part of back to school season as pencils and paper. Although your kids may want the latest and greatest fashion, try organizing a clothing swap with other families in the neighborhood. Kids are always growing which means that what was new last year may be too small this year. Why spend money on new clothes when there is most likely another family going through the same thing as you are?

Back to school season can be stressful and you may feel like spending the extra money to get it all done at once will solve all of your problems. Unfortunately, big box stores know this and will take advantage of it. But with a little effort you can save a lot of money and decrease the amount of waste we produce from our households. This year add “Savvy Shopper” and “Noble Recycler” to your “Parent of the Year” title.