A Sustainable School Year

August 24, 2021

It’s about that time again for students to start heading back to the classroom. Whether you’re a parent, teacher or student, there are many ways for you to make this school year the most sustainable one yet. We hope you’ll consider incorporating a few of these ideas throughout the upcoming year:

School Supplies

It’s easy to get carried away with back-to-school shopping, but there are many ways to enjoy the fun while still caring for our environment. Before making a trip to the store, look at what you might be able to reuse from last year. This could include backpacks, folders, binders, pencils, crayons and more.

When you do decide to buy, try buying in bulk. This will help you reduce packaging waste. You can also keep an eye out for products made from recycled materials and select those first. When it comes to books, make borrowing your first choice. Local libraries are a great place to start.

Zero-Waste Lunches

Swap out plastic lunch bags and water bottles with reusable containers. Offer foods with minimal packaging and consider stainless steel or silicone food containers. And remember to compost food scraps, such as apple peels. Parents and teachers can teach students to bring home uneaten food to be reused, when possible.


Making the commute to and from school every day can be time consuming and takes a toll on our environment. Reduce your carbon footprint by changing it up. Maybe there are a few neighbors who would like to carpool or if you live close enough, try walking once or twice a week. Taking the bus, if possible, is another alternative to make your daily trek more eco-friendly.

A Sustainable Education

Inspire your friends, co-workers and other parents to practice eco-friendly habits this year. Is there a club on your campus that focuses on sustainability? Join it! And if there isn’t one already – you could be the one to start it.

Teachers can incorporate sustainable practices into their curriculum and daily routine with students throughout the year. This might include applying for a 2022 Solar+ Schools Grant.

Let’s get creative this year as we practice sustainability in our schools. Remember, these are just a few ways to be mindful of our environment; there are many more.