Moms Columns & Blogs

Back To School Starts With the Three 'R's

When I say back to school what’s the first thing you think of? New!  New school supplies, new lunchboxes, and new clothes. This is a good opportunity to incorporate three ‘R’s into our kids education by finding ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as we send them back to school.

Lets start with supplies. Make a statement about recycling by stocking your kids’ backpacks with eco-friendly supplies. From recycled paper notebooks to pencils made from used tires and pencil packs of recycled juice boxes you can find a larger selection of school supplies made from recycled material on store shelves these days. What a great way to show your kids what recycled items can become.

School lunches are a big opportunity to reduce and reuse. My family has a daily goal of packing 100% waste-free lunches. We start with a reusable bag made of recycled water bottles that I found online ( We ditched the non-recyclable plastic baggies for plastic containers that we’ve been stockpiling in the pantry.  We also use what’s called a ‘Wrap-N-Mat’ (  It keeps any size sandwich fresh and doubles as a placemat.  Packing a reusable water bottle is easy! Reusable utensils and a cloth napkin finish off the waste-free lunch.  I don’t have to worry about them accidentally throwing anything away because they never need to go to the garbage can –everything goes back in the bag!

Don’t forget about what your packing for lunch.  Buying items in bulk will cut down on packaging waste and buying locally grown fruits and vegetables will help support your community’s economy while greatly reducing your eco-footprint. 

When it comes to clothing, resale shops are a great bargain. You can find everything from the latest fashion for your young adult or gently used to practically new items for the ages that grow so fast. What better way to show your kids the lesson of reusing items not quite ready for the landfill?

Sending your kids back to school in eco-friendly style doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.   It also a good opportunity to have important conversations with your kids about what we all can do reduce our eco-footprint through everyday green living.