NZ Woman's Weekly

Green tips for back to school

Green tips for back to school

Ditch the plastic wrap

Instead of wrapping school lunches in plastic wrap which you can’t reuse, opt for Ziploc bags as they can be washed and reused. Also look out for lunchboxes with separate compartments for snacks and yoghurt, so you just wash and reuse instead of throwing away paper, plastic wrap and plastic containers every day. You could have a look around Japanese supply stores for Bento boxes – a fun alternative to normal plastic lunchboxes.

Buy a BPA free drink bottle

Make sure your child always has access to fresh water by getting them a drink bottle. You can pop it in the freezer the night before and by the time they get to school they will have lovely cold water to sip. Make sure it is BPA free. If your child likes to drink juice, dilute it 50/50 with water to reduce the sugar content and pour it into their bottle instead of packing juice cartons.

Resist individual packaging

It’s tempting to buy those little individually packaged chips and biscuits, but you will be saving a lot of landfill if you buy one big bag of chips and doll out single serves into their lunchboxes.

Refillable pens and pencils

Seek out pens and pencils which have refill cartridges rather than buying disposable tools.

Recyclable exercise books

Make sure you buy paper notebooks and exercise books which are labelled as 100% recyclable.

Walk, cycle or bus

Instead of driving your children around the corner to school, walk with them or enrol them in a Walking Bus where one parent will shepherd several kids to school safely. If your child is older, consider buying them a bike to ride to school and if you are a long way from school, look into local buses. You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and your child will learn to socialise with local kids and make new friends.

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