Go eco-friendly this school term: Your back-to-school eco-guide

Go eco-friendly this school term: Your back-to-school eco-guide

The new school semester is rolling around. You survived school holidays but now the scarier task begins… back-to-school prep. Need help to eco-up your back-to-school routine? Read on to get our top tips...

Create a team

Environmental issues are part of the school curriculum so chances are, depending on their year, your little one might already be a step or two ahead of you on the topic than you realise. The amount of knowledge young children have on the importance of eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives is both inspiring and heartwarming. So include your kids in the conversation at home. Explain that this term/semester/year as a family you're wanting to make more eco-conscious swaps and get them to join in. Make this task is a fun one for the whole fam.

kids playing

Have a looksie - what do you already have? 

Now you have your littlies on board, it's time to get this eco-friendly show on the road. Go through your existing school supplies and house. What do you already have? What can be repaired or mended? What can be upcycled? Do you really need to buy a new pair of scissors just because the booklist says so? It is surprising how much school supplies one home can accrue in a lifetime. 

Revisit sun safety

Schools are great in enforcing sun safety these days with mandatory ‘no hat no play’ rules and the like. But the mighty bucket hat can only protect your child so much. In your back-to-school preparation, revisit your child’s sun safety. We recommend a high-quality all-natural UVA and UVB sunscreen be applied to your child as part of the morning routine. 

sunscreen

Be sure to also include a bottle of Little Urchin’s Natural Sunscreen in your child’s school bag so they can reapply before sun exposure. We also offer a subscription service making it easier (and more affordable) to put your family’s sun protection first!

Vote with your wallet

There are so many incredible brands out there today that are forging a more sustainable and socially-conscious future. How can you support them? Vote with your wallet! When walking down the aisles of Officeworks with booklist in hand, be mindful of where you are putting your dollars. What do we mean? Here are a couple of examples you can try: 

  • Exercise books: choose a recycled exercise book and skip out on plastic covers or laminating them. 
  • Sharpener: opt for a stainless steel option over plastic. 
  • Tissue boxes: at the start of every school year, most classes ask each student to donate a tissue box. We LOVE Who Gives A Crap’s Forest Friendly Tissues. Plus, they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need...

Nude Food Day

When did it become standard to cling wrap, bag up and package everything we consume?! Sometimes it can feel more difficult to craft school lunches that are free of single-use packaging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. ‘Naked lunches’ or ‘nude food’ are initiatives that a lot of schools are already getting behind. 

Here a few simple swaps you can make today: 

  • Swap cling wrap for a reusable lunch box when storing sandwiches.
  • Swap single-serving packages and buy bulk. Then create individual portions in reusable containers.
  • Swap wrapping fruit for leaving it naked. Nature has already packaged fruit up pretty nicely for us. 

We love the Mum’s Grapevine article 18 ways to pack a nude food lunch (click here to read). It offers simple solutions to help you make school lunches naked. 

Green up your school commute

Ahhh… the school commute. Do you find yourself already dreading the long lines to reach the drop off zone? Are you sick of searching for a car park to go drop off your little ones? Dreaming of an easier way? Depending on where you live and the proximity to the school, there are a number of more environmentally-friendly ways you could do the school commute. 

  • Walk or ride to school 
  • Park the car away from the chaos and walk the remainder of the way 
  • Share the commute with other parents

Simply adopting a greener commute 1-2 days a week can drastically reduce the number of cars on the road and the impact we are having on the environment. 

Get the class (or entire school) involved

Congratulations! You have successfully made back-to-school eco-friendly. Spread the word. Get others involved. Whether that be classmates or the entire school, small changes can make big differences. Here’s a great article on how to get your school involved in the #WarOnWaste

Want to take the next step? These are some great environmental initiatives for schools that we love: 

At Little Urchin, we are very passionate about being kinder to Mother Earth. Head to our Urchin News for more helpful articles to inspire you.