School holidays are reaching their final weeks and many of you (like us!) might be starting on the back to school list of to dos!
And if you are anything like us, you might be trying to be more sustainable in your choices this year, so we have collated a few tips and tricks that reduce waste, save money, and protect the planet.
TIP 1: Look at what you already have before buying something new
Before you go rushing out to buy new supplies, do a stocktake of what you already have and check what you can reuse from the previous school year. Maybe you have a bunch of pencils and pens still in great working condition or items like backpacks, lunch boxes, and binders which often last more than one school year.
TIP 2: Don’t buy what you don’t need
For what you actually need - make a list and stick to it! There is A LOT OF stuff out there, most of it not necessary (and usually plastic!). Try and stay focused on what you do need and you will save money as well as reduce waste. Before you buy anything new ask yourself if you really need it and will your child still be using it in 6 months time.
TIP 3: Buy Secondhand when you can
Try and buy secondhand if possible - things like electronics, clothing or textbooks can often be sourced, sometimes through the school, your local community or online platforms where you can find gently used items at a fraction of the cost. (We have a group of friends that often swaps school clothing and shoes as one child outgrows them). Again, cheaper and more sustainable than buying new.
TIP 4: Buy more sustainable options
When you do have to buy new, look for school supplies with minimal or recyclable packaging, made from recycled or natural materials and products from brands who have a reputation for sustainability and with suitable certificates (i.e. certified B Corp or Fair Trade).
Also, aim to buy durable products that will last a long time and avoid disposable items (especially ones made from plastic!)
TIP 5: Plan planet-friendly lunches
We know packing school lunches every morning can be a massive pain! But try and make more climate-friendly choices in the food you prepare (locally sourced, seasonal) and avoid those snacks wrapped in plastic! Try reusable snack bags instead.
TIP 6: Go reusable!
Invest in a durable, reusable lunch box and containers. Provide your child with a reusable water bottle instead of buying single-use beverages.
And yes, send them to school with their own Solmate! No more small single-use sunscreen bottles needed!
TIP 7: Ditch the car
Can you walk or cycle to school? Maybe take the bus or even carpool in order to stop driving individually. Even better, make it a school group activity - the kids can walk or cycle together. Not only do you reduce your carbon emissions, you encourage great healthy habits!
TIP 8: Get your child involved
Talk to your child about the importance of sustainability. Involve them in decision-making processes and show them how small actions can contribute to a healthier planet.
Adopt some or all of these and you can not only reduce your environmental impact but also instil sustainable habits in your children. Because, remember, small changes collectively make a significant impact, and each step towards sustainability is a positive contribution to the well-being of our planet.