With millions of parents buying new clothes, sneakers, book bags and lunch boxes among other things like pencils, binders and other school supplies each year, it's no wonder that September connotates a "fresh, new start" for many families. What a perfect time for parents to start introducing earth-friendly concepts into their children's everyday lives. The EcoMall offers the following green alternatives to the traditional back-to-school supplies along with other ideas for parents to help "green" their schools.
According to Tom Kay, co-founder and president of the EcoMall, "Petroleum oil, a non-renewable resource, is used in the manufacture of chemicals and plastic commonly found in most school supplies. Environmentally speaking, using supplies made of natural ingredients is always preferable. Recycling paper products should be common practice." The following check list can be used for environmentally conscious school supply shopping - not just for parents as they do their own shopping, but for parents to pass on to school administrators for the products they will be buying. Shopping with the planet in mind can also protect your child from potentially hazardous chemicals (particularly those found in art supplies).
What to buy:
What to avoid:
School administrators and children alike need to be educated about diminishing natural resources and encouraged to do their part in preserving the planet. Another good reason to "go green" this September, according to Marianne Schnall, co-founder of the EcoMall with Kay, is for health reasons.Using art supplies made with natural ingredients avoids any kind of exposure (ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through skin) of any possible hazardous ingredients and solvents such as lead, asbestos and cadmium."What’s good for the planet is good for your child, our families and societyas a whole," said Ms. Schnall. "The small effort it takes to consciously purchase your children’s school supplies and family’s paper goods makes anenormous difference to the health and integrity of our planet."
Other ideas the EcoMall suggests to green-minded parents include:
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