It’s September already! I don’t know about you, but I always find September to feel like a mini-January, with that new-start feeling of back-to-school and the change in seasons.
However, a new start doesn’t have to mean all-new purchases. Yes, I’ve been that woman struggling around the town centre spending almost a months wages on shirts, shoes, pencil cases and bags amongst many other things ready for that first day back.
Since developing a more slow and sustainable lifestyle, I’ve hardly bought anything new. In fact, I’ve actually found pleasure in upcycling and making new clothes from pieces I already have that either don’t fit or I’ve never worn.
The first thing I did this year was ask my teenagers what they actually need. Apart from a few stationery bits, the only item of clothing was a pair of trainers for my son who admitted his current pair had holes.
I’ve reduced my Back-to-School bill by 80%, taking that staggering triple figure to a more manageable double figure.
I’ve put my top tips here to help you save the planet and save on all that unnecessary expense.
Part of the local parents group I’m proud to be part of have a uniform swap shop.
Kids grow out of their uniforms quickly, especially when they’re younger, so there are plenty of good-quality items that can be donated and swapped with other bits.
My son had a growth spurt, so we donated some like-new black school trousers in exchange for some longer ones.
The game changer for us was actually looking at what we already had.
In the midst of all the new term chaos its easy to get swept into buying more than you need. With a list, shopping was done and dusted with no stress at all. It saved us buying things we already had and didn’t need.
Did you know you can get pencils made from old CD cases?
And pens made from plastic bottles?
We love VENT for Change‘s sustainable products so much that our September 2021 subscription box was packed with their eco-friendly stationery, perfect for back to school. You can subscribe to future boxes here!
Sustainable materials are becoming so much more widely available for every budget.
Check out F&F at Tesco, they use recycled polyester in their range of school uniforms.
Making your own lunch to take to school can save you money, time and help reduce unnecessary waste.
You have more freedom to pack lots of great, healthy and zero waste snacks–like almonds, carrot sticks and grapes.
You then know that your kids aren’t buying the expensive treats in the school cafeteria that come wrapped in single-use plastics.
In England, car use for school journeys has doubled over the past two decades…
…and as many as 1 in 4 cars on the road at morning peak times are taking children to school, meaning schools have become pollution hotspots.
Child exposure to pollution may be unnecessarily increased by engine idling (stationary vehicles with engines running) and vehicle acceleration-deceleration, both in and near school premises, during drop-off/pick-up hours; is it any wonder the UK has a higher prevalence of childhood asthma than any other European country?
Benefits of Walking to School:
Walking is a great wake up call making us feel more awake, focused and cheerful.
It’s the perfect way to connect with children before and after school, opening lines of communication that may be missed with a stressful car journey.
Something as small as walking 20 minutes a day can help you and your child ward off heart disease, maintain a healthy weight, keep bones healthy and improve balance.