Back-to-School! Creating Environmentally Focused Future Generations


August is here and school is about to begin. With your help, your children can go back to school in an eco-friendly way. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve gathered a short list of sustainable back-to-school ideas for you and your children to implement to start the school year off on a green foot!

  1. If your child wears a school uniform, consider looking for fair trade suppliers or find clothing at your local resale shop. If you choose to buy new uniforms, use them for a long as you can, washing them only when needed.

  2. Instead of using paper or plastic bags to carry lunch, consider buying insulated lunch bags to hold your child’s food. We even have some of our own Air North Texas reusable lunch bags. If you are interested in one, please contact us at airnorthtexas@nctcog.org until September 1, 2018. Also, think about going plastic free and use last night’s leftovers placed in reusable containers as a yummy meal for the next day. If your student buys lunch at school, make sure there are healthy choices with lots of fruits and veggies.

  3. Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle! Ask school administration if there are recycling bins on campus. If there are not, advocate for them and have your child bring home recyclable items to dispose of there. Make sure to educate your student on what can be recycled and what cannot. However, take note that recyclable items vary from city to city so before you recycle, research your city’s requirements.

  4. If your child still has journals with unused paper, use the journals again the next year until they are empty of paper instead of buying all new ones. In turn, this will save you money and the environment a few trees. Take inventory of the school supplies in your home to make sure you do not have more school supplies than you child needs. If you do, consider donating them to your child’s school or to children who need them.

  5. If you live close to your child’s school, consider walking there. This will benefit you and your student’s health as well as the environment, in turn, lessening your carbon footprint. Maybe create a walking bus and walk to school with other families in the neighborhood. Connect with your neighbors in person, through your neighborhood association, or on the NextDoor app.

  6. You can take steps to help prevent bad ozone days by following a few or all of these back-to-school sustainable ideas. Also, sign up for air quality alerts on the Air North Texas website. These alerts will provide you with information on bad ozone days when children should limit activity outside.

Teaching your children about the importance of helping the environment and improving air quality is important for their future. These habits will carry on with them for the duration of their lives and, in turn, create a healthier world for the generations after them.

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