Riley is a 12-year old from Arkansas. She loves reading, listening to music, and the color purple.
September means back to school for most kids and teens. This year, more than ever, it’s time to add social responsibility to your back to school checklist.
From eco-chic fashion to supplies to books, we’ve covered it all in this list of “must haves” while giving you tips on how to keep the 4 R’s in mind and yes, we said the FOUR R’s.
Consider first, what you already have. It is important to think green when it comes to the three R’s, Recycle, Reduce and Reuse. And don’t forget, the 4th R, remember.
Recycle your clothing. Take that older pair of jeans and transform them into something fabulous. Or, if you must, when buying new, think about an organic or recycled purchase. Consider Levi’s line of eco jeans (www.levi.com) They are made from completely recycled denim. A plus because the normal process of making denim is really harsh and hard on the environment. You can also reuse your denim jeans and make shorts, sew them together to make a quilt or a purse or just repurpose them by adding paint, funky sequins or even write a poem on your jeans.
Lastly, get your friends together for a “Clothes Swap” Collect T-shirts, sweaters, jeans and even purses, grab your friends and make an Eco-Chic part of it, trading clothes, decorating old jackets and jeans. If you have some leftover, make sure and donate them to a community charity in need. There are many available. Remember, don’t let anything go to waste.
Green School Stuff
By now you’ve heard about how bad plastics are for you and the environment. Show your support by eliminating the use of plastic water bottles from your life completely and choose a reusable bottle like the ones from CynerGreen www.cynergreen.com They are made from 304 stainless steel and last a lifetime. Also remember, it takes 700 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose in a landfill – do your part!
First, take a look at your school supplies from last year. What can you reuse? Redecorate binders with recycled paper, stickers or covers to make them last longer. Recycled school supplies like pencils, notepads, journals, backpacks and lunch bags are also really easy to find this year. From Wal-Mart to Staples and Green Line Paper Company. (www.greenlinepaper.com)
Waste Free Lunches. Plan to have a waste free lunch this year. That means that you almost eliminate the need for trash in your lunch. Take a reusable lunch sak, one that will last all year, your reusable water bottle, and containers that may be reused. We recommend glass containers that seal. Remember, never place plastic in a microwave. It could leach BPA if heated (Bisphenol A), a harmful toxin known to leach from plastic. Learn more about BPA at www.healthychild.org
Be a Eco-Bookworm!
I’ve reviewed some great fiction reads and informational reads with an environmental theme. They are a must read for kids and teens.
- Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming, by Laurie David (teen)
- Gaia Girls Series , by Lee Welles (young teen and teen)
- Tracking Trash, by Loree Griffin Burns (3-5th grade)
- Maximum Ride Series, by James Patterson (teen)
This year make it a goal to become involved in your community and do your part. Organize a school cleanup, help your recycling or green club at school and make it known you care. Remember, every day should be earth day.