The impact of a single person may seem insignificant because we underestimate our ability to positively influence our surroundings by example. Today we bring you tips for a much more sustainable, affordable and responsible school year. Will you join us?
When it comes to buying, you need to get creative
First of all, ask yourself if you really need it. If it’s essential, how about giving life to something that already exists? Think about reusing materials from friends or family. It’s also a perfect opportunity to create swap groups or organize DYI workshops with the little ones to personalize materials and give them a second life. With that we learn the first lesson of the school year: Reduce, reuse and recycle!
If you need to buy something new, it’s better if it’s sustainable and durable. Look for PEFC or FSE forest-certified paper labels on notebooks and planners. Products made from natural materials such as bamboo or wood and biodegradable or organic alternatives can also be a good choice.
On the road, carpooling is the best option
Driving children to school is one of the most common actions for many families. But it’s also one of the most polluting…
This year we invite you to take a morning walk, use public transportation, or ride scooters or bicycles, which are more economical and eco-friendly alternatives. But, if none of these options are viable, how about considering car sharing? It’s always more fun to go in groups! Organizing a carpooling route with other moms and dads for students living in the same area would reduce the number of vehicles on the road and, undoubtedly, the ecological footprint of families.
Eating healthy leaves no footprint, no wrappers
No matter how many years go by and how generations change, the recess snack remains the same. But have you ever stopped to think about how important the menu and the wrappers we use are?
Tupperware or cloth wraps, both washable and reusable, could become our best ally. In addition to a plastic- and foil-free snack, we can use all kinds of fruits, vegetables and organic and locally traded products for snack time. Healthier for us and for the environment. Let’s not forget reusable bottles and thermoses for a 100% zero waste lunch!
Education comes first
(Sustainable) education starts at home and continues at school. It is important to educate our children so that they can make decisions that are more respectful of the planet all by themselves. Encouraging them to shut off the faucet, reminding them to refill their water bottle or teaching them not to waste resources can have a bigger impact than you think. And they will repeat these habits at school. These small gestures can influence their circle of friends and even their entire classroom.
Most schools have already undergone energy reconversion in their facilities, for example, by replacing old light bulbs with low-energy bulbs. But there is another part of responsible consumption that comes from the awareness of students, teachers and school workers. Actions like turning off the lights and closing the windows when leaving a classroom empty may seem like a small thing, but they are an important learning experience for children.
We also learn while enjoying our free time
Learning also happens through play and movement! When it’s time to do something fun with your kids, you can also choose activities that are more respectful, but no less fun. Outings to nature, to the countryside or to the park, are very important in the school stage because children learn through experience.
The return to school means a return to group celebrations, parties and gifts. Here again, it is best to get organized with other families to see what birthdays you can celebrate together, and to coordinate gifts. Making fewer, better quality gifts is another way of being more sustainable. Did you know that in more and more schools, families are coming together to organize a quarterly (or monthly) super party? This way, resources are leveraged, costs are shared, the whole group is invited so that no one is excluded, gift overkill is reduced and most importantly, the day is usually a memorable one.
With teamwork, education in respecting the environment, healthy eating and responsibility of all students, we will have the best possible Ecocentric school year. Will you join us in the challenge?