Today, I’m excited to share with you a guest post from Tiffany, of the blog, Peace, Love & Travel! On her blog, Tiffany shares her journey toward living a more sustainable lifestyle. Her approach, which is to always strive for the best you can, not for perfection, makes sustainable living seem a little more “do-able” in today’s modern and often hectic world. In this post, she shares some tips for making back-to-school time a little more sustainable.
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A personal goal of mine is to decrease the amount of waste my family generates. As summer comes to a close and kids head back to school, I’m taking some time to reflect on the past few months and determine what type of progress I made toward my goal.
My family is nowhere near perfect; baby steps, I tell myself. :) I feel like a teacher, myself, when it comes to educating my family about economic and environmental responsibility — but that is how we are able to learn from one another.
In honor of back-to-school season, I’ve put together a list of ways moms, dads, families, students and non-students, alike, can lead a more sustainable lifestyle during this crazy time of year. These ideas can help save on energy costs, help to preserve the environment and encourage community support.
Reuse School Supplies
Want to avoid additional costs and store rushes during the back-to-school frenzy? Of course you do! If you have little ones going to back to school or have already started back, a great tip for living a little more sustainably is to consider reusing school supplies. Check the status of last year’s supplies to see if new ones are really necessary. Supplies that were only lightly used throughout last year may still be in good shape and suitable for another year of use.
Reduce, Reuse… Upcycle!
Don’t just recycle — upcycle, too! We grew up with the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” burned into our brains, and although the messaging still applies, green enthusiasts are encouraging us to take the process one step further and not just recycle, but upcycle. Recycling takes products and breaks them down into lesser-quality materials to produce new things. This is great, but we still use energy to break down those materials. William McDonough, a founder of the green design movement, explains upcycling as giving items that have reached the end of their shelf life a new purpose by producing something of greater environmental value. Here’s a great example: Did you know the grass on the field played on during the World Cup was reinforced by recycled artificial turf fibers? Pretty cool! Check out Pinterest for some clever ideas to upcycle school supplies.
Send your kids to school with a lunch made from local items and try to incorporate this practice into the rest of your life. Most farmers’ markets last until the beginning of October and in some areas of the country, it’s a year-round option! It’s a great way to support the local economy and items purchased at the market tend to be priced lower than at chain grocery stores. Alicia Silverstone is big proponent of clean eating and supporting local farmers and she even starred in a film called “Save the Farm,” which tells the story of a 14-acre urban, organic farm located in the heart of Los Angeles.
Do you live near others with children going to the same school as yours? Do any co-workers live in the same area as you? Start a carpool! Save on gas, conserve miles on your car and drive with others going to the same place. As a busy mom, it’s hard enough to schedule a day’s events, and one less errand to run, such as picking the kiddos up from a play-date, is a big help! Car services Uber and Lyft, who’ve recently come under fire in many cities, have started a new carpooling service concept. Rather than solo rides, the underdogs of the “taxi wars,” the services are moving toward organizing passengers on similar routes, for a reduced rate.
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Thanks so much for sharing these useful tips, Tiffany!
Are you interested in guest blogging? Let me know! I’d love to have you!