Many students pack their snacks and lunch. Instead of using disposable utensils, containers, bags, and napkins, pack reusable items that can be washed at the end of the day. A wide range of reusable stainless steel, cloth, or silicone food containers are available that safely eliminate waste. Students that buy school lunch can also bring reusable utensils to reduce waste.
Students need to stay hydrated throughout the day and a reusable drink container avoids waste. Water fountains and water bottle filling stations are located throughout the Coronado school campuses so students can easily refill their bottles. Select a lightweight stainless steel water bottle to minimize exposure to plastic products. Many water bottles offer a variety of tops from sip tops to straw tops. If students need a straw, make sure to pack a reusable metal or bamboo straw.
Back to school shopping often includes new clothes for the students who grew over the summer. Sell or gift your too-small clothes to another family in town to ensure they are reused and stay out of landfill. Put your child’s name on all sweatshirts and jackets so items may be returned rather than left on the ever-growing lost-and-found racks and also help save money and our planet.
Once teachers provide a school supplies list, look through folders and notebooks from last year and reuse ones that are still sturdy and in good condition. Gently used spiral notebooks often have a few used pages. Tear out those pages and reuse the notebook. If new supplies are needed, seek out environmentally-friendly options including PVC-free binders, recycled paper and pencils, and refillable pens. Wash and mend backpacks so they are clean and ready for the new year.
Encourage students to walk or bike to school to keep cars off the road. Coordinate with neighboring families for students to walk to school together for enhanced safety and fun. If there are occasions when students need to drive to school, be sure to carpool and have drivers turn off the engine while waiting to reduce emissions.