Tis’ the season for freshly sharpened pencils, crisp new clothes and clean slates. You know what that means? Time for a brand new school year to begin and the Green Divas (and dudes) have some great tips for keeping it healthy, green and fun for everyone this school year. This week’s show was all about the back to school season, featuring our friend Nancy Massotto, founder of Holistic Moms Network who was in the studio with us!
But first, a fun little video of Green Diva Meg playing with Ford Fusions and having fun on her recent summer vacation . . .
After recently bringing his son to Texas to start his freshmen year at Baylor College, Eco Ed is familiar with how to make going back to school sustainable. As a green living consultant, he knows that going to college can be wasteful from all the supplies, books and dorm accessories; but the biggest compromise is transportation. Baylor, like a lot of colleges, is working on a system of rental bikes on campus. Using public transportation to get around local areas is also a good way for college students to stay green. Zip cars are another good alternative.
Listen to this great Green Dude segment podcast!
Here Eco Ed’s 10 tips for being greener going back to school
1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t let your children skip it! And try to limit processed sugar in their breakfast as much as possible.
2. Well-balanced lunches are very important. Fresh foods and fruit are healthy alternatives to processed snacks. Encouraging healthy eating habits promotes physical development, improves attentiveness and results in more consistent energy levels throughout the day.
3. Minimize garbage by packing lunches in reusable containers. Ditch the plastic and stick with a reusable water bottles that can be refilled all year long.
4. On days that weather is permitting, encourage your kids to walk or bike to school with friends. On rainy or snowy days, carpooling reduces traffic and minimizes carbon emissions.
5. Turn your engine off while waiting for your child. Anti-idling efforts are being encouraged in our schools (or dare I say, enforced). This practice is not only wasteful (of gas and money), it adds to pollution right around the areas where our kids are playing.
6. Choose your child’s clothes with them. How many times have you purchased clothes that your child refuses to wear? Including them in the selection process increases the chance that they will wear their new clothes often.
7. Save supplies from year to year. So many perfectly usable folders, pens/pencils, binders, etc., are thrown away in the trash at the end of the school year. Put aside what is re-usable for the upcoming school year, which is only a couple of months away.
8. Buy recycled supplies or products with minimal packaging, where possible. Brand marketers respond to consumer demand, and this will force companies to provide products that are more sustainable to manufacture.
9. Make textbook covers from recycled materials. Those sturdy brown paper bags from the grocery store are still a good option and have a surface that lends itself to decoration and personalization (see Green Diva Mizar’s easy book cover tutorial!).
10. Hand-Me-Downs give clothes a second life. If this is not an attractive option for you, consider donating your child’s clothes to a local charity when your child has outgrown them.
GD Foodie-Phile: Healthy, Green & Fun School Lunches & Snacks
Gina, our resident Foodie-Phile gives 9 great tips on not only how to have the COOLEST lunch at school, but why making your own lunches at home is important. Learning healthy habits at home is the key to a sowing the seed of a lifetime of eating green and healthy. Read Gina’s post about ways to pack healthy, sustainable lunches.
Listen to this great Green Diva Foodie-Phile segment and get lots of ideas!
GD Mizar’s DIY: Homemade Book Cover Tutor
Instead of purchasing those icky plastic, pre-made book covers, why not create your own book covers? She thinks that people have gotten away from the idea of protecting text books, which are still an important part of a school experience. Why not use old maps? Fun magazine pictures? Old wall-paper? Brown paper bags? Even if you go shopping and you find newsprint? Read her great and EASY DIY tutorial on making book covers.
And listen to this funny Green Diva DIY podcast segment to learn even more!
Nancy Massotto, Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Mom’s Network is manifesting her vision of making the organization a community that reaches parents (yes dads too!) everywhere. She started the organization to find moms like herself, who lived an natural, healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle. From her initial meeting with other parents in 2001 in a Chiropractor’s waiting room, the Holistic Moms Network has blossomed into over 100 thriving chapters in about 32 states across the country will be celebrating a ten-year anniversary next month.
Listen to the podcast to hear a really wonderful interview with Nancy Massotto!
Bike image from Shutterstock