Green Your School Routine
The start of each school year marks milestones and new beginnings. This is a perfect opportunity to build upon family traditions that invigorate healthy, sustainable lifestyles with your children, like enjoying time together cultivating a home garden and preparing zero-waste lunches. There are many eco-friendly back-to-school tips you can follow, as well as free educational resources that help better your bottom line and achieve a future without landfills.
Greening your back-to-school routine is easy; just think of the 4Rs:
- Reduce – The first rule for back-to-school shopping is: Don’t overspend! Check what you already have in stock and plan accordingly. For lunch, help your kids pack zero-waste lunches in reusable containers to reduce the expense and waste of prepackaged snacks, meals and drinks. Save time by prepping healthy lunches with your kids at the start of the week, so they’re ready to go!
- Reuse – Further your back-to-school budgets by encouraging your kids to shop reuse and up-cycled clothing stores. When buying new clothes, look for sales on high-quality apparel that can be given to younger siblings, exchanged with others or donated when outgrown. For school accessories, help your kids decorate old binders and folders and customize old backpacks with patches, pins and other cool embellishments.
- Recycle – Teach your kids about “Closing the Loop” by purchasing school supplies made from recycled materials, like backpacks made of juice pouches; pencils made from recycled denim or newsprint; and notebooks, folders and binder paper made from recycled paper products.
- Rot – Have your kids compost any food scraps from their lunch, then rinse out the containers, as part of their daily routine. If you don’t compost at home and want to, Salinas Valley Recycles (SVR) offers FREE compost workshops to Salinas Valley residents, so the whole family can learn together. For more information, visit SalinasValleyRecycles.org or call (831) 775-7000. Participants receive a free countertop compost bin and are registered to win a worm bin!
Kids can also help green their schools! SVR and local waste haulers offer FREE waste reduction and recycling assistance to all schools in the Salinas Valley. SVR also offers FREE guided facility tours and the amazing Rock Steady Juggling school assembly show.
Financial incentives are also available to Salinas Valley schools that want to improve their recycling programs and earn some serious green! Every school year, SVR offers the Wally-Waste-Not Award Program. This year, ten schools will be awarded $2,000 each for improving and implementing waste reduction and recycling programs.
Greening your school has never been easier with the help of SVR! If your kids are interested in helping their school, encourage them to invite teachers and classmates to check out all of our exciting school programs at SalinasValleyRecycles.org or call (831) 775-7000.
Jenny Mitchell | Recycling Coordinator