Even though summer’s in full swing, many American families are preparing for the first day of school at the end of August or beginning of September. Energy in households runs high as children wonder who their new teacher might be, which friends will be in their class, and what to expect on their first day of school. Transitioning from a fun-filled summer into the new school year can be smooth with a lot of preparation and foresight.
Part of this transition includes preparing kids with all the equipment that they might need for their new classes. According to a recent survey, school supplies are the number one item on Back to School lists. Parents have many decisions to make around supplies to help their children prepare for class. Luckily, school supplies are evolving and there are many new products that are created by companies that have the earth in mind.

Using recycled paper and notebooks is an easy place to start. Kids use massive amounts of paper throughout the school year. One average-sized tree is equal to 14-17 reams of paper. That’s 7,000-8,500 individual pieces of paper! Kids can also enjoy binders that are free of chemicals and made with recyclable materials. This is quite a step up from the past!

Other items that have changed from when many parents were younger is the lunchbox. I remember thin metal boxes with characters and images from my movies or favorite television shows. One year, my lunchbox featured Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. It looked beautiful on the first day of school, but even just a few weeks later it was scratched up and didn’t look as fancy as it did a few weeks prior. Now, lunchboxes are incredibly durable and are even made from more earth-friendly materials, such a metal or bpa-free plastic. Many have small little compartments for different foods and holders for an ice pack that will keep food cool.

Remember, not all the supplies need to be purchased before school begins. Rather than overload young minds with the excitement that all these items bring, it can be helpful instead to slowly bring these new items into a child’s life so as not to over stimulate them too quickly.

While exciting, returning to school after a long summer break can be a challenging time for the entire family. It’s a time of re-establishing bedtime routines and remembering to finish homework after a few months of playing. All of us at evox hope that your family’s transition from summer to school is smooth and full of fun!

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About The Author

Nikki Pava's picture

Nikki Pava is the author of Green Wisdom: A Guide for Anyone to Start, Engage and Energize a Sustainability Team. She is also the founder of Alegria Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainability engagement initiatives for mission-driven companies.

Prior to her work at Alegria Partners, Nikki founded EcoTuesday, a national networking forum that facilitated vital connections and essential change in the business community. EcoTuesday hosted more than 300 events in 12 cities across the country and brought together hundreds of sustainability professionals, making a positive impact in each city.

Nikki holds an MBA in sustainable management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She lives in an eco-community in Costa Rica and is currently writing a book about teams in businesses that focus on reaching their company’s climate change goals.

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