Fresh Ideas

5 Green Ways to Get Ready for School

It seems like summer just started, but believe it or not, it’s time to think about getting ready to go back to school. Some people see it as a chore, but personally, I love back–to–school shopping. For me, it’s a fresh start.


As much as I like roaming the aisles to look for cute pencils and notebooks, I also want to make sure that the choices I make are as environmentally friendly as possible. In today’s post, I am sharing five green ways to get ready for school — from school supplies to packaging preferences.

Shop at Home

I know, I know. All those aisles of crayons and notebooks are calling your name, but before you hit the store, check out what you have in your own house. Reusing items from last year is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet too.


To make things even easier, try using a big box to store unused glue sticks, crayons and binders. That way you know where to find them when the next school year starts!

Join Forces

Do you have a teacher who wants two dry erase markers? Instead of buying a package of two markers, find other parents from your class who also need markers. Together you can buy a package of 12 and save on packaging and costs. You might even consider buying bigger packages on your own to share between your kids or to donate to the classroom.

Plan a Walking Bus

I know that walking to school isn’t feasible for everyone, but if you live a mile or less from school, then walking is a great choice for the environment and your kid’s health. Talk to your neighbors and those on nearby blocks to see if you can arrange for the kids to meet in a central location. Perhaps one or two parents can volunteer to tag along for at least the first few weeks to make sure everything runs smoothly.


Many kids don’t walk to school because Mom and Dad have to get to work, but having other parents volunteer to walk with the kids can ensure that everyone has the choice of walking.

Reusable Lunch Containers

Lunchboxes aren’t just for kids anymore. There are all sorts of stylish lunchboxes for tweens, teens and even adults. For the inside of your lunchbox, try using a washable sandwich box or bag (instead of plastic baggies). In addition, a reusable sandwich box will keep that PB&J from getting smashed!

Choose Cartons for Lunch

And speaking of lunches, one of the easiest green choices you can make is to pay attention to the packaging in your child’s lunchbox. Consider adding a carton of milk or juice to his or her daily lunch. Cartons are a great choice because they are recyclable* and made from paper that comes from trees, a renewable resource. Not only can you learn more about carton packaging on, but you’ll also find school–based programs — Carton 2 Garden and Made By Milk — that encourage the use of this smart packaging choice to spark creativity and teach environmental stewardship.

How do you plan to be green this school year? Share your best tips in the comments.

*Where facilities exist.


Amy Bellgardt

Amy Bellgardt is a wife, mom, lifestyle & travel blogger, foodie, nerd and coffee drinker. In 2008, she created the blog MomSpark as a way to connect with fellow moms, exchange tips and share stories. She was looking for an outlet as a stay-at-home mom and quickly found the community she needed in the social media and blogging world. Mom Spark now consists of three writers and has a wide range of articles for moms that include recipes, travel, green living, social good initiatives, crafts/diy, blogging advice, fashion, parenting and decor.

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