Back to school and work- Greened!

Wait! Don’t stop reading because you don’t have kids! All the advice to be green while getting ready to go back to school could be applied for adults at work! Read on!

  • Bookbags/purses/briefcases: One way to go green is to look for a bookbag that is made of recycled materials. There are really creative things out there, such as bags even made from old seat belts! If you don’t have access to these “different” possibilities, and you want to make things simple, buy a Jansport bookbag. Why Jansport? Well, they will take back and repair your backpack FOR LIFE. And if they cannot repair it, they’ll send you a new one! I recently sent one back that I had traveled with for 15 years! This is also true of many other labels, such as Coach, although there maybe other fees that apply. Check out the policy of your fine bag manufacturer!
  • Lunch: Did you know that the average school lunch generates 67 pounds of waste a year? I’m sure the average “work lunch” does too! So how can you combat that? Using reuseable containers, such as Tupperware, Gladware, or old food containers. It will help cut costs too to buy a larger quantity and break it down! And water bottles? Don’t even think about it! Unless you are refilling them!
  • School/office supplies: The biggest name of the game here is recycled materials. They are readily available now – at Target you can find recycled notepaper, notebooks, etc. You can find pens and pencils online that are made of recycled material, and buy refillable whenever possible. What about that box of tissues you’re supposed to send in? Seventh Generation or other recycled brands are all over the place. Remember – buy “recycled” and “reycleable.”
  • Transportation: Did you know if you left your car at home 2 days a week, you would reduce green house gases by 1,600 lbs/year? If the prices at the pump aren’t enough to get you on a bike or public transportation, who knows what would be! Another way for you and the kids is to carpool! (and for those of us around metro areas, check out the slug lines! This is not recommended for sending the kids to school)
  • A Green Attitude: Ok, so you may not want to walk to work, or reuse your baggies, but take a “green attitude” with you…ask your teacher what the school is doing regarding recycling and what your class can do to help. Or perhaps you could create a clean-up day for the neighborhood! Or talk to your office manager about buying recycled copier paper from Staple next time…you’d be surprised how infectious it can be!

What other ideas do you have?

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One comment on “Back to school and work- Greened!

  1. Sandy Lenthall
    September 6, 2008

    Two big differences in how generations view being “greenminded (1) those who have lived through a depression and WWII, when availability was the question, not a choice. People learned how to “do without.” This is not a part of later generations’ viewpoints. (2) “need versus want” was much more clearly defined with “want” denied, put on hold or reserved for special events, birthdays, holidays, etc.
    This is reflected in the current oil debate. Cutting use, doing without or with less is not a point being seriously considered. The “want” part is dominant and how to make this happen are the discussion points. It is easy to understand this when the viewpoint has not been affected by periods of real economic depression.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2008 by in At Home, Green, Medium Green and tagged , , , .

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