Like many annual events – Christmas, Easter, Halloween, the Super Bowl, Black Friday – the consumeristic culture in the United States has blown back-to-school shopping to epic proportions.
When did learning become so expensive? Or when did it require so.much.stuff?
Your students may try to go along with the “I need a new backpack, lunchbox, school supplies, three pairs of shoes, sports uniform and entire wardrobe” mentality – but they don’t need to. Stay strong, reasonable parent. You don’t have to cater to your children’s every desire.
Instead of giving in to peer-driven desires, you could switch the back-to-school shopping season into a great lesson in resourcefulness, frugality … and even minimalism. Turn this school year into a great time to learn that less is more when it comes to stuff.
The easiest way I can suggest to go green this school year is to watch your consumption and spending habits.
Buy what is truly needed, and get creative with the rest.
How do you do that?
- Reasonably figure out how many outfits your children really do need – and see what clothes still fit and can be worn again. If back-to-school shopping is a tradition in your home, opt for one new outfit for the year. Try to supplement with hand-me-downs or thrifted items – these purchases will help your wallet AND the environment.
- While you’re sorting through your children’s school clothing, dig out older school supplies, too. See what can be reused again. You may still need to make a lot of purchases, depending on this year’s supply lists. But you shouldn’t have to buy every single supply brand new.
- College students can save a lot of money by searching for used textbooks. Granted, required new editions can foil your thrifty plans, but borrow, trade or buy used materials when possible.
Time to share your secrets for going green when going back to school! How do you plan to go green this school year?