Only Footprints: Bringing you what you need to know about going green and making less of a harmful impact on the environment.
By: Jennifer Hernandez
Mid-August is the culmination of the summer. The adventures of the season have come and gone, and soon it will be time to buckle down for the fall.
Going back to school doesn’t have to mean back to boring. Make a clean break from the old and take a step toward a better year. Make that step an eco-conscious one with these back-to-school tips.
An essential back to school item is the book bag. Some want their rucksacks to make a fashion statement, and others just want it to safely transport their stuff. No matter your motive, a Matt & Nat faux leather backpack should be a contender on your list. The sleek and stylish piece looks just like leather, but is made from eco-friendly, recycled and upcycled materials. Another great companion is a backpack from Stone + Cloth. The company makes their products locally in Los Angeles, and a portion of their profits provides scholarships for students in Tanzania.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on reading material this year, pack your bag with rented or previously owned books. Rented books are about half the price of bought ones (if not less), and it saves you the trouble of figuring out whom to sell them to at the end of the semester. Used books are more economic than new books and work great if they’re fairly new editions. Both of these options cut down on paper waste and energy to produce new books, saving trees everywhere. Renters, try Textbookrush and Book Renter, and compare prices on Big Words.
After you pack your books, pack your lunch. Home-made lunches will save you a chunk of change, and you can pack healthy snacks for when hunger strikes throughout the day. Carry all your favorite foods in containers like the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox, made to fit neatly within each other. The OXO Good Grips set is a great choice for larger foods. Both are durable, BPA-free (BPA is an industrial chemical used in some plastics that can cause health effects), and freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe, so you can save money and reduce food waste.
Once you come around to doing actual schoolwork, jot your notes down on recycled paper. Mead Recycled Notebooks have paper made from 100 percent post-consumer materials. Hundreds of sheets are wasted when printing and re-printing essays and projects. Boise Aspen 100% Recycled Paper can reduce the impact of paper waste because it’s made acid free, without the use of chlorine from 100 percent post consumer content.
When it’s time to hit the halls, get there in style in eco-conscious transportation. All of your peers will be amazed at how environmentally friendly you are when you arrive on the bus, on your bike or with other cool kids in a carpool….
The truth is that no one will notice or care about how you get to school, but taking the initiative to save gas and reduce fuel exhaust will do the Earth good. Taking the bus eliminates the stress of driving, riding your bike provides exercise and carpooling gives you the chance to socialize. It’s a win-win.
Going back to school shouldn’t induce summertime sadness, but instead excitement about a stylish, eco-conscious homecoming.
Photos courtesy of stonecloth.com, casa.com and mead.com