Green Tips to Kick Start the School Year

August 8, 2011

With the end of summer fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your kids for the new school year. To help you kick start September while keeping sustainability in mind, the Rainforest Alliance has come up with five green tips that support the environment and help to cut costs. 

1) Greener Lunch

  • Pack your children's lunches in reusable containers and use reusable water bottles. In doing so, you can help reduce the huge amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Ask your kids’ schools to source sustainable foods for cafeteria lunches, including locally grown or Rainforest Alliance Certified™ produce.
  • Pack fruit as a healthy alternative to chips, and you also save on the wasteful packaging!
  • If your school has a garden, consider collecting organic material in a compost bin in the cafeteria and creating fertilizer from lunchtime waste.

2) Greener Transport

  • Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school if possible. Not only does this help reduce carbon emissions, but it is also good exercise.
  • If you live too far from the school to make walking or bike riding an option, have your kids catch the school bus as opposed to driving them.
  • If you have to drive, arrange a carpool with other parents. Not only will this help reduce emissions, but it will also help minimize your gas costs.

3) Greener Waste

  • Remind your children to use both sides of the page when they’re writing or printing.
  • Choose recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance Certified paper.
  • Don’t forget to recycle your own paper waste. Make sure your kids’ schools recycle, too.

4) Greener Supplies 

  • Save money and trees by purchasing textbooks secondhand.
  • Don’t throw away old text books -- sell or donate them instead!
  • Try to use school supplies from last year; your kids don’t need new supplies every year!
  • Use refillable pens and pencils.

5) Greener Education

  • For fun and educational games, activities, stories and forest facts, check out the “Kids’ Corner” on the Rainforest Alliance website.
  • If your kids love the rainforest, treat them with Rainforest Survival Challenge, a fun and educational iPad app.
  • Tell your kids’ teachers about the Rainforest Alliance’s free school curriculum for K-8th grade, designed to help students understand how our lives are connected to forests around the world.