Environmentally Friendly Back to School and Back to Work

Back to School is right around the corner and it is none too soon to start thinking about how to have an environmentally friendly back to school or back-to-work. While many of us already do a good job with our recycling, if you are anything like me you probably could still step it up a bit. We have gathered a few of our favorite ways to start the new season of learning with some solid new habits.

Buy Environmentally Friendly Back to School Supplies: 

I have a weakness for a good-looking planner, and a need to jot things down & draw, so I use more paper than I am proud to say. That said, there are plenty of ways to consume that are environmentally friendly.

  • You will find great looking post-consumer recycled notebooks at most office supply stores, so you can definitely find something that reflects your personality and
  • I look for supplies with recycled content, fewer hazardous chemicals, are PVC-free, and reusable.
  • There are plenty of green printing supply choices, pencils made from certified sustainably harvested wood and ton of other environmentally friendly products.
  • Look for reusable, biodegradable, and non-PVC plastic containers to use as lunch boxes.
  • Avoid PVC (has a “3” in the recycling symbol or a “V” underneath); many office products that are “archival quality,” or “acid-free” are not made from PVC.

Pack a Waste-Free and Toxic-Free Lunch:

Make a waste-free lunch and make a difference! Estimates are that the average child using a disposable lunch creates 67 pounds of waste per year. That is around 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size school! Imagine that number applied to the adults in your office! The amount of waste we create is huge!

Here are some ideas on how to pack an environmentally friendly back to school healthy, waste-free lunch:

  • Use reusable, non-toxic stainless steel water bottles.
  • Find waste-free lunch containers.
  • Test your lunchbox for lead, find alternatives to vinyl lunch boxes, and join the campaign to stop the manufacture of toxic lunch boxes.
  • Get ideas for packing healthy lunches from VCH.
  • Avoid PVC Plastic.
  • Avoid #3 plastics in everything.

Start a Green School Program at Your School/Office:

Learn about ways to empower your family, schools, and office to make a difference:

  • Start a School-Recycling Program or an Office Recycling Program!
    • Sign your child’s school up for our School Recycling Program and they could win prizes of up to $500! That is in addition to the money they raise by recycling all of their beverage containers with us.
    • Start an office beverage container recycling program and donate the funds to your office charity or event fund.
  • Raise money for school activities or charities by having a bottle drive!
    • Does your team need to raise money for equipment? Bottle drives are a clean, effective, environmentally friendly way to raise funds for all types of groups. We have the best Bottle Drive program in the Lower Mainland, from Pemberton to Aggasiz, and we would love to help you with yours!