Back to School in Eco-Style

back to school


It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and kids are getting ready to go back-to-school. Whether you’re helping your children get ready for school or going to college/university yourself, this year plan ahead and go back to school in eco-style!

Reduce and Reuse

Before you hit the stores, do an inventory of any school supplies from previous years. Decrease your shopping list and determine what you actually need for the upcoming school year. Most supplies, such as sturdy backpacks, lunch kits, pencils can last more than year, so you don’t need to buy them every year.


School  office supplies on board.


Pay it forward

If old school supplies can’t be reused; donate them to a local charity so children in need can use them. Most local churches; schools and shelters will accept them.


Search for greener options

There are lots of school supplies available which are environmentally friendly and affordable. Some of the greener products I have seen include paper and notebooks made of recycled paper and supplies such as binders and pens/pencils made from recycled materials.

Litter-less Lunches

When preparing lunches, think litter-less! Not only does it save money, since you won’t always be purchasing brown bags, but it also reduces the amount of waste you’re producing.


Moving on

If you’re moving away for college/university, ask your family or friends for unused furniture or household items. If you do have to buy, check out your local thrift store or on sites like Craig’s list and Kijiji, it’s cheaper than buying new and you’ll be recycling!

Join the green cause

Last but not least, encourage your kids to join the school’s green club and if there isn’t one, help to start one! In elementary school I learned a lot about environmental issues through my school’s green club. Most colleges/universities also have environmental clubs. They’re a great way to take part in environmental causes as well as to network and meet people in the environmental field! I found my first environmental job through my university’s green club.


Small group of four creative children reading and learning together.


Start off the new school year right with the environment in mind! How will you go green this school year?


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About the Author
Prabhjit K. Banga

Prabh’s environmental journey began in 1992 when she discovered a passion for green living after watching the cartoon movie, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Since then she has been an avid environmentalist for over 20 years, cultivating sustainability within her own personal and professional life. She went on to complete her Master in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. During her Master’s degree, Prabh worked on policy oriented research on sustainability reporting frameworks, community based social marketing, resource efficiency and waste management practices. Prabh is currently the Manager of Strategy Development & Corporate Sustainability at Toronto Pearson Airport. Prabh leads the development and delivery of the airport’s sustainability strategy. Prabh enjoys reading and writing about the environment and loves to share her tips and passion for living sustainably.

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