Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- How to Apply the 3 R’s to Your Back-to-School Shopping to Save Money and Help the Environment

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It seems every year, summer comes and goes in the blink of an eye. With August upon us, it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping. Here are a few ways you can apply the 3 R’s to help go green this school year.

Reduce- Cheap doesn't always mean savings! Instead of buying that cheap pack of bulk pens that seem to run out of ink every 15 minutes, think about a few quality refillable pens or pencils. A durable eco-friendly binder that can be used for multiple classes will save you over the inexpensive flimsy ones that fall apart. Not only that, the more you're able to re-use  your school supplies, the less waste you create, and the happier mother earth will be.

Reuse- Instead of brown paper bags and plastic sandwich bags, try re-useable containers. Instead of that 24-pack of water bottles, try a reusable water bottle. Instead of packing paper napkins with your kid’s lunches, head over to your local fabric store and pick out some fun materials to make into cloth napkins.

Recycle- There are many school supplies made from recycled products that are high quality, affordable, and good for the environment. Recycled paper and paper made from sustainable sources are a great way to help slow deforestation, or recycled crayons made from broken crayon pieces. Keeping these kinds of products in mind while you shop is a great way to be eco-friendly.

Look for natural, chemical-free products- It may not be one of the 3R’s but, many products like glues, white outs, and paints contain chemicals and ingredients that aren’t good for your kids or the environment. Look for products like Coccoina non-toxic glues or glob paint products.

 

What are your tips for making back to school shopping affordable, healthy, and eco-friendly?

 

Don’t forget to visit Green Apple’s great collection of affordable green school supplies at (www.greenapplesupply.org) . Our not-for-profit mission includes education about the need for and benefits of green living as well as providing affordable alternatives for green products. Please help spread the word.