Back-to-School Sustainability Tips

  • Take inventory. Go through leftover supplies from the previous school year and see what was never or barely used. More than expected may be able to be used in place of brand-new items this year.
  • Shop for recycled and reusable materials. Find supplies made from recycled materials. Also, consider refillable pens and biodegradable pencils.
  • Buy reused tech. Consider buying refurbished electronics. In addition to being less expensive, a refurbished purchase helps reduce landfill waste and decrease pollution.
  • Thrift shop or swap. When shopping for back to school clothes, consider hitting up thrift shops or organizing a clothing swap within your community. Frame it as an opportunity to own unique, vintage fashions and point out that even the most fashionable celebrities love the thrill of thrifting.
  • Hop on the bus. If nearby a school bus route, consider taking advantage of it. Letting a child take the bus to school will result in one less task, likely create fond memories and help reduce air pollution.
  • Bike or walk. Consider having a child bike or walk to and from school.
  • Engine off in the drop-off and pick-up lines. If driving to school to drop off children, remember to reduce idling. Turn off the vehicle when waiting to pick up children after school, because emissions from idling are harmful to their respiratory system and contribute to air pollution.

For more information visit North Central Texas Council of Governments at

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