Going Green: A greener way to get kids ready for school
From uniforms to equipment to bags to bus fees, to lunchboxes – the costs of preparing kids for a new term can soon spiral – not to mention be pretty damaging for the environment, but if you’re savvy and think ahead, you can stay ahead of the curve.
The average parent spends £337 a year on new school uniforms and when kids start secondary school that figure increases. But with 1.4 million school uniforms being thrown away and ending up in landfill every year, is there a greener way to get them ready for school without costing your wallet – or the planet a fortune? The good news is yes.
Firstly, have a good look at the uniform they threw on the floor in July. It might be beyond repair, but it also might be completely salvageable, if it still fits, or even in pretty decent condition so don’t automatically buy new without checking the condition of the old and giving it a good wash so you can see it in its best light.
Next – get inventive with where you buy. It doesn’t all have to be brand new and lots of innovative parents across the country have set up Facebook or social media accounts where second hand unforms are available to buy from children who have outgrown them. It’s worth selling on this too if you’re the parent that bought the school v neck jumper when they started year seven only to be told by your offspring they won’t be seen dead in it.
Lots of PTAs have pre school sales too so it’s worth calling or emailing their school to see if there are any plans.
When it comes to equipment think imaginatively. If you have more than one at secondary school and they have maths on different days, do you need to buy two scientific calculators, or can they share?
When it comes to travel, depending on how far away you live from the school, consider walking. Not only will you be saving petrol costs and the damage cars bring to the environment for the 195 days a year most UK children are at school, you’ll also be encouraging exercise twice a day.
Lots of primary schools have walking buses where kids are walked by a few parents so you can volunteer at yours or if your school doesn’t have one you can help to set one up.
Finally you’ll save money and use less energy if you bulk cook when it comes to school lunches. Whether that sausage rolls or pasta sauces, have a think about what they like and see how you can save and have them come back with an empty lunchbox at the same time.
The mad rush to be ready for September will always carry its own stresses but by being savvy, you’ll save time, money and energy and keep the planet happy too.