Back to school
Thursday, 09 August 2012
Across the country, kids are gearing up for their annual return to the classroom. With back to school about to hit full swing once again, parents and kids alike are hard at work compiling their lists of school supplies so they can be ready to go for that first day of class.
Though it can be hard for parents to get kids excited about going back to school, doing so can set a very positive tone for the coming school year. In addition, back to school can be a great chance for parents to educate their children about the environment and how even the little things, such as buying environmentally-friendly school supplies, can really add up to make a positive impact.
* Avoid disposable products: One of the most effective ways to make a positive impact on the environment is to purchase reusable products. The average American produces 1,000 pounds of trash per year. Environmentalists note that this waste can be reduced by as much as one-third if people simply begin buying reusable products -- and it can start with school supplies.
Most people are not aware of the environmental benefits of mechanical pencils compared to wood pencils. Only a portion of the wood pencil is actually used. Some of the pencil is lost due to sharpening, the end of the pencil is thrown away as it is too small to write with, which leaves only a portion that is used. On the other hand, 100 percent of the lead in a mechanical pencil is used.
* Buy recycled paper products: Another way to instill a sense of environmental awareness in children this back to school season is to buy recycled paper products. Recycled paper products help save wood, water and energy, while reducing pollution and solid waste. Conservatree, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, notes that calendars, notebooks, folders, and other common school supplies are available with recycled content. This makes the back to school shopping season a perfect time to teach kids about the environment and how to make a positive impact.
* Buy products made from recycled plastic: Paper isn’t the only culprit when it comes to potentially wasteful products. Non-recycled plastics, in fact, can be very detrimental to the environment. For example, at their 2008 annual Coastal Cleanup Day, a host of volunteers collected more than 80,000 pounds of trash from the beaches of Southern California, much of which was identified as non-recycled plastics.
* Make going green a year-round lesson: The emphasis on going green during back to school season is a lesson that doesn’t have to end once parents have purchased their kids’ school supplies. Rather, back to school shopping could simply be a great starting point for parents hoping to instill a sense of environmental responsibility in their children. The lessons of reduce, reuse and recycle are not only applicable to the classroom, but to all facets of life as well. (MS)
|© 1978 LaOferta|