As you are preparing for the start of the new school year, the chances are that you have old stuff that you need to deal with, including old crayons and outgrown sneakers. The Eco Women are here to help! Even if you don’t have school-age children, you might find a few useful tips here too.
Parent/teacher organizations are the work horses of schools across America. They influence decision-making. They affect morale. They connect people–parents, teachers, administrators, communities. PTO/PTA groups do good things, but Enviro Girl would argue that they can do good things with even greater environmental consciousness. During her term as PTA president for her kids’ elementary school, she has encouraged changes in how the parent organization and the school does business. It only takes one parent to act as a catalyst for change at their child’s school. Some take on curriculum, others become vigilant soldiers in the war for playground safety, and Enviro Girl became a one-woman show touting environmental issues at her kids’ school. Below are just a few ways any ordinary person can become an Eco-Superhero and “green” their local PTO/PTA. Continue reading
Recycla has had children in school for eight years now and in all that time her daughters have never once bought lunch at their schools. They don’t like the food and Recycla understands completely — any time she has been at the girls’ schools for lunch, she has been horrified by the pre-packaged and/or processed garbage being served to the students.
The cost of school supplies like pencils and notebooks can run up to $100 if you have a few kids heading back to school this fall. Tack on book fees, activity fees, gym shoes and lunches and things start to get expensive. According to the National Retail Federation,average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.62 on school supplies and related expenses. Enviro Girl has three kids going to school full-time this fall and even with recycling many of last year’s supplies and leftovers she shelled out $150 on school supplies. But she won’t spend $606 getting her sons back in the classroom and here’s why: Continue reading
Eco Lassie knows that parents with school-aged children have specific shopping lists for school supplies provided by most districts. Here are few of her thoughts on how to keep those shopping days eco-oriented.
Before you run to the store, take a good look at what’s hiding in desks, junk drawers and arts and crafts areas. Take an inventory of what you already own before heading out to shop. Many items, like pencil cases, can do double duty more than one school year.
In the next few weeks, many eco blogs and websites will have posts and articles about eco-friendly school supplies, including backpacks made of hemp or recycled materials. Recycla thinks that earth-friendly gear is great, but she has slightly different criteria in mind for what constitutes a good backpack for students. While eco materials are great, what’s more important is how durable the backpacks are and if they can hold up to the daily wear and tear of student life. If you are going to spend $40, $50, or more on a backpack, you want it to last a looooooong time and not have the zipper bust during the first month or the fabric rip in the middle of 4th period. If a well-made backpack just happens to be made from recycled materials, all the better.
Sending a kid to college is not cheap–tuition costs continue to rise, along with energy and food prices. The National Retail Federation reports parents and students will spend an average $616.13 on new apparel, furniture for dorms or apartments, school supplies and electronics . Enviro Girl believes a kid can be outfitted for dorm life on the cheap and keep things green by following the guidelines she used as a college student: Continue reading
After realizing that she was not talking the talk as efficiently as walking the walk around her children, Enviro Girl knew she had to make more of an effort to connect the dots through discussion. Not in a preachy, pedantic way, mind you, but in a casual, “hey, look at this pile of food waste we’re carrying to our compost pile! That’s a LOT of waste we’re diverting from the landfill!” kind of way. Continue reading
Last month Enviro Girl read this article with dismay. Here’s an excerpt:
Researchers found that, when surveyed decades ago, about a third of young baby boomers said it was important to become personally involved in programs to clean up the environment. In comparison, only about a quarter of young Generation X members — and 21 percent of Millennials — said the same.
Wow. Depressing, right? Continue reading
Anyone with children understands that Valentine’s Day is really about the treats, not the declarations of affection. When Enviro Girl was young, she always made a “mailbox” out of an old shoebox covered in glitter and paper doilies to set on her desk. Each child would bring in paper cards to deliver to each of their classmates. Enviro Girl recalls carefully choosing exactly the right Valentine for each of her classmates out of the box her mother bought at the dime store. Occasionally someone would pass out tiny boxes of conversation hearts. Times have definitely changed. Fast forward to today’s school children. Enviro Girl’s tribe comes home from school and DUMPS their bags out, covering the carpet with tiny cards and a heaping pile of treats. Her sons bring home as much candy on Valentine’s Day as they do on Halloween! Is there a way to make this holiday a bit healthier, a little bit greener, but still fun? Continue reading