Somehow the summer never seems to last long enough, especially for those of us on the East Coast.
With long winters, non existent springs and short summers, it seems impossible that the school year is here again! Didn't the kids just have grading day?!?
As with all things, I am always trying to find ways to
1: Only purchase what is necessary
2: Tread lightly on the Earth
3: Slowly and with intent, shift our consumer culture to one that is more mindful and reasonable.
So, some tips for back to school shopping and some eco friendly options for supplies!
I'm going to say something revolutionary here folks.
Your kids do not NEED a whole new wardrobe every school year!
There are so many reasons why this is unnecessary but first and foremost, the planet has more than enough clothing on it to last a lifetime.
Buy second hand.
Repair what is ripped.
Take good care of the items you have.
Use them until they grow out of them. (Then pass them on to siblings, friends, neighbours.)
The earth is worth more than their fashion statements.
If you live in the CBRM, we have so many secondhand stores available to us! Salvation Army, Louis', Value Village, Gala RE (for older kids/teens), The SPCA Thrift Store (and I'm sure the list goes on!)
OR you could plan a fun clothing swap with all your besties! Kids play, grown ups exchange clothes, fun is had by all and VOILA! A new to them wardrobe, with minimal impact on the planet (and bank account!)
Now this one can be tricky as all the schools have different lists and ways of managing school supplies. I know that some schools just have the parents send in money and they buy in bulk.
(Genius!! Brookland Elementary: Get on board with that!)
First step: At the end of every school year, save what can be reused!
This year we had crayons, pencil case, folders, notebooks, scissors, and more left over!
There is no shame in reusing last year's supplies! (And if there is, perhaps we have a bigger issue to deal with)
For the supplies that can be used year after year (backpacks, pencil cases, lunch boxes, etc), invest in quality!
I purchased a backpack that has a lifetime guarantee.
Not only is it well made (4 years and counting!), but it will also be replaced if/when needed! Well worth the investment!
Yes, yes, they all love the character backpacks that fall apart in 3 months. Trust me, they will get over the disappointment of not having Paw Patrol or Peppa on their backpack.
Let them decorate their bag with stickers or patches or cool buttons (Check out Handmade East! Our local button maker extraordinaire!)
If you are privileged financially and can spend a bit more, there are so many amazing eco friendly companies creating green products!
Check out this list below!
Looking to spend less?
Most big stores will price match with their competitors and the Dollar Store has a lot of the supplies needed!
I wish you all well with back to school!
Comment below with your tips and tricks for staying sane at the beginning of the school year!