A green back-to-school shopping list
I make a reasonable effort, like separating my recycling each week, donating old fast-food joint toys rather than trashing them, and buying "green" cleaning products that my husband thinks smell like death.
I am starting to understand that the wastefulness of Back-to-School time is akin to hosting my own mini oil spill every September. Most of the crap we, as parents, buy for our kids is plastic, toxic, kills kittens, or contains enough paper to have used up all the trees in the southwest corner of a medium-sized rainforest.
Since I have all sorts of extra time on my hands these long summer days with no camp with which to occupy my needy children, I decided to do some research. The result is a Back-to-School shopping list that should make us all a little greener.
Back-to-School Must-Haves for Eco-Conscious Kids:
1. Ergonomically-correct hemp backpack in bright orange with a retro-looking cartoon character on it making a peace sign with his hand/paw/wing. (Bonus points if you bought it on Etsy.)
2. Biodegradable hand-carved pencils personalized with names such as Orion, Petal, Lotus and Cloud. (You may have to re-name your kid to make this happen...but really, it's The Right Thing To Do.)
3. Toxin-free, 100% cotton wardrobe dyed with vegetables purchased from your local CSA. (What, you say? You have no time for this? Do you want to be held personally responsible for murdering beautiful Mother Earth??)
4. Hand-washable lunch sacks made from recycled Moon Boots. (Each Moon Boot produces 287 sacks. You'll be set for a while.)
5. Refurbished iPhone Junior loaded with apps like How to FreeCycle My Education. (Also helpful: The How To Tie My Own Shoes app.)
6. Collection tote for bringing leftovers home from the school cafeteria to your back yard compost bin. (I smell an after-school play date activity!)
7. Probiotic smoothie and gluten-free flaxseed carob bars in glass containers for snack break. (Child safety, be damned!)
8. Spine-aligning light-up shoes whose manufacturing process, ironically, left no footprint. (Lit by volunteer farm-raised, cage-free fireflies, of course.)
Sure, buying all this stuff might take up so much time and money that we all go immediately broke. Just try to think of moving from your 4-bedroom colonial to the back of your minivan as a wonderful step in the right direction for the environment, which is a great example to set for your newly eco-conscious children.
Happy shopping, everyone!