We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow the earth from our
-Native American Proverb
We have been treating the Earth like we don't live on it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to School Already?

Yes, it is true, today was a sad day for my kids. They started school. The weekend was characterized by happiness to see friends, sadness to leave the Wii behind to start a regiment of homework and studying and anxiety over whether the teacher will be nice or mean. And that was just me, I don't know how the kids felt.

Just last week we received our school supply list so on Friday we rushed to Target, of course with my green radar on. I convinced my kids to reuse last years lunch boxes. My son will reuse his backpack but my daughter refuse to have Little Pony again so she got the Littlest Pet Shop backpack this year. I warned her that she was stuck with this backpack until it falls apart on her but I know next year she will want something new but then she will have to choose a more sturdy and eco-friendly one that will last for years. I know that these are not the greenest choices but I am torn between buying an expensive recycled, organic backpack for a 7 year old who may not like it and refuse to take it to school or Littlest Pet Shop that she will use to store everything for school, sleep-overs and car rides. Both of them did not want to buy new clothes for the first day of school, that not only saved the environment but my wallet.

So, we are at Target and so are 50 other parents from our school district. I'm having quasi panic attacks because I don't like shopping especially with crowds. Five minutes after we get there I was wishing I could shop online. But that would be expensive. I need to get out quickly. Most everything is inexpensive. Crayola crayons 24 pack, .22. Gluesticks, 2 pack .20. Lined paper, .15. These ended up in my basket. But what about green? I headed to the enviro friendly section. Paper, recycled, sustainable, 2.49. Enviro glue sticks, 1.79. You do the math. What am I going to take home for my 7 and 9 year old to loose-half-way-through-the-year-to-have-to-replace? (If you remember, I was taking a huge leap of faith buying my kids Sigg bottles for school.) The cheap stuff. Buying green is not always a clear cut choice for me. Especially with the deep discounts on school supplies, I still spent $155 on school supplies. Some of that is donated to the classroom for sharing like gluesticks and Sharpies.

Well, I messed up this year while shopping for green school supplies but you don't have to. All of you that have another month until school starts do your shopping and research now if you want green products. Here are articles and online stores to help:

The Green Guide Back to School 2007

Office Depot-Your Greener Office

Staples Eco Easy Section

Green Apple School Supply (pretty good prices and good selection)

Sierra Club's Back-to-School Tips

Green Earth Office Supply ( I looked everywhere on their site, not sure if this is for resellers? Try it.)

Care2 Best Cool Green School Supplies

Reusablebags.com for backpacks, lunchs bags and reusable bottles

A few guidelines:

  • Buy used or use from last year
  • Buy in bulk
  • Give eco-friendly to your teacher, maybe they too can get the green message
  • Put up your gentle used stuff in Freecycle or give to the Salvation Army (they'll pick it up.)
  • Buy with a green buddy online, it helps save on shipping cost
Look for:

And I found this little cutie at Think Green. It is a stapleless stapler.

Be Green.


Beth said...

I cannot believe your kids are already in school! Mine have another month!! I appreciate all your green tips! This will be good for when I need to start thinking about supply buying!!

Beth said...

Did you see you made Green and Clean Mom's top 100 list?? Very very cool! You are higher up than me!!! YAY!!

Melissa said...

wow I did not realize back to school was so early! poor kids. lucky you :) did you get the neat little stapler yet?

Allison said...

Beth- I am kinda sad they are in school. I almost miss them. I had so much fun this summer with them I feel my friends are gone. But now I have more mom time.
Melissa-I know, I feel a little sad for them but they don't know any better, that is were all their friends are. And I do plan on buying the little stapler soon. It is so neat.