Below are a few ideas for students, parents and teachers to reduce waste, reuse and recycle for a more sustainable school year.
NO WASTE LUNCH: Packing a waste-free lunch may take a bit more time and creativity but, given the environmental benefits, it’s well worth the extra effort. A disposable packaged lunch can create between 4–8 ounces of garbage every day. That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year!
· Use a lunch box or reusable bag
· Put food in reusable containers
· Pack a cloth napkin to wash and reuse
· Pack reusable utensils instead of disposables
· Use a thermos or other reusable beverage container
· Purchase snacks in bulk size and repack into individual reusable containers
· Prepare more fresh fruit and less prepackaged food
· Pack only as much food as your child will eat
· Label all your containers and water bottles to ensure they will make it back home.
· Minimize the morning rush by packing lunches the night before and store them in the refrigerator overnight
REDUCE PAPER CONSUMPTION
· Increase recycling and use more recycled material
· Work with the parent association and/or administration to address paper and purchasing strategies
· Distribute the school bulletin electronically
· Post more communications on class web pages and the school website
· Reuse paper from the recycle bins for scratch paper during math
· Adopt a mindful approach with the faculty and staff when copying and printing
· Encourage room parents to buy in bulk, avoiding individual containers and to opt for healthier food choices
· Don’t overbuy (only buy what you really need)
· Use school supplies from last year before buying more
· Buy canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic
· Buy recycled paper
· Use a reusable water bottle instead of disposable plastic ones
· Look into your closet first before rushing to buy new clothes
· Consider a clothing swap with classmates
· Donate clothes that don’t fit anymore to a local charity
Last but not least, be sure to participate in your school’s Go Green Week activities and join the City of Turlock’s Team Green Kids Club! More information on both programs are available for the kids club on the City’s website at www.CityofTurlock.org.
For questions or additional information, contact the Municipal Services Department at 209-668-5590 or visit the City of Turlock website at www.CityofTurlock.org. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
CONSERVATION TIP #148
Keep evaporative coolers in good repair: Evaporative coolers require seasonal maintenance. For more water efficient cooling, check your evaporative coolers annually.