Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eco-Chic Student

It’s the end of August and I have that old back to school feeling. I’m not going back but after spending a good portion of my life in the hallowed halls of my alma maters I feel it just the same.

In the spirit of thinking I should be preparing for school, I’ve assembles some tips to make the upcoming school year a little greener.

Many of the supplies can be picked up online or at your local eco-friendly store.

Pens and Pencils – Whether made from sustainably harvested Birchwood or recycled plastic and rubber, you can have a clean conscious and write about it too. Eco-friendly pens and pencils include and are not limited to: Woody Pen (refillable pens made from sustainable birch wood); Triggerwood Pencil (biodegradable and created from scraps of wood from a sustainably managed forest); Pilot BeGreen Rexgrip Pencil (made from 100% recycled plastic); Wheely's Pen (ballpoints made from recycled plastic and rubber tires).

Paper – When you need paper, ensure it’s recycled or FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council). Staples and Grand & Toy carry a limited array of the recycled stuff. To find out about FSC paper products, click here. For eco-friendly notebooks, try your local pro-sustainability store like Grassroots in Toronto.

Computers – Computers thrive on energy. If using a laptop in the lecture hall, why not juice it up with solar power?

Backpacks –Ensure that this traditional school accessory is not made of toxic PVC plastic, which is toxic and non-recyclable - a double whammy of foul eco-badness. If you want to get real snazzy and have money to burn, why not invest in a Voltaic bag, which features solar panels to recharge your laptop battery. Lighter on the pocketbook are Euro-style Hemp Backpacks from Rawganique and Dante Beatrix: Eco-friendly backpacks for kids.

Transportation – To all the youngsters out there - when I was your age I used to walk two whole blocks to school, in the rain, wearing non-branded shoes. Are you getting a ride to school every day ‘cause you’re afraid you’ll get your Nike’s dirty? Ditch the car, walk or cycle and lose some weight. You’re a kid for heaven’s sake. Just do it.

Lunch – Bring local & organic meals to school or pack them for you kid. If your child balks at the glaring nutritional aspect of the meal, include fun organic fruit bars and organic and fair trade chocolate. If your child’s school serves up lunch, does it meet your standard? Is it time to go ‘Jamie Oliver’ on them? If so, you may want to connect with like-minded parents to take action. Check out Two Angry Moms, who are so angry about the state of food at public schools that they created a website and a movie to get their message across.

For other Back to School tips, visit Nature Mom’s Blog.

In the News

Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits
Another challenge for renewable energy.


Anonymous said...

hi,just wanted to pass along an interesting website for reducing carbon foot print . .

Cheryl McNamara said...

Thanks for sharing. Cool site!!