Sustainable Back to School Traditions

Let's kick off this school year the sustainable way! Returning back to classroom learning this fall is a big milestone for local students. There are some simple sustainable and eco-friendly ways of maintaining the traditions of this exciting season – like decorating last year's backpack or thrift shopping for the perfect first day of school outfit!  

Host a Family Backpack Decorating Party

Level up this year's style with a personalized backpack! The trend of buying a new backpack every year not only carries a monetary cost but also a hefty environmental cost. Incorporate a crafty "Backpack Decorating" party into your family's back to school routine. If you think your student may change their style or decorating tastes throughout the year, make sure to choose removable decorations! Think about adopting a few DIY backpack decoration ideas to upcycle last year's backpack with fun personalized decorations:

  • Iron on or sew on unique patches
  • Tie on a reused ribbon or bow
  • Add personalized keychains/zipper pulls
  • Use fabric/glitter paint to add new color and designs
  • Get creative with fabric die

 Organize a Community School Supply Swap 

Are you looking to fill your child's school supply list? Organize a school supply swap with your local community! Utilize your community by posting your school supply swap on Facebook neighborhood groups, local Buy Nothing groups, Nextdoor and faith-based organizations. 

 Support Refurbished Technology 

 Supporting refurbished tech is a great way to save hundreds of dollars and support sustainable technology! Purchasing refurbished items like phones, laptops, iPads and tablets will help to reduce technology driven carbon emissions and waste. 

 Thrift Shop for a Unique School Wardrobe 

First day of school outfits have become a rite of passage for students. Did you know that the clothing textile industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world? Second only behind the fossil fuel industry! Learn more about how fast fashion is contributing to our global climate crisis.

Try out thrift shopping for the perfect first day outfit! Check out a map of thrift stores around Clark County. Adding thrift shopping to your family's back to school traditions not only saves money, but also greatly reduces the harmful environmental impacts of the fashion industry. After a quick spin in the laundry, thrifted clothing items can have a second life!

 Pack a Zero Waste Lunch 

Level up packed school lunches with thrifted lunch boxes and water bottles. Pro tip: decorate with stickers to add personalization! Packing a zero-waste lunch is not as difficult as it sounds. Thrift shopping for reusable silverware and food containers with your children can add personal investment in these items, ensuring children look after reusables and bring them home after every meal!


Image Credit:

Maslow: Image Source: https://portland.momcollective.com/sustainability-environmentalism/sustainable-back-to-school-guide/ 

Backpack: https://www.parents.com/kids/education/back-to-school/ways-to-trick-out-your-kids-backpack/

Swap:: https://sustainablefairfax.org/event/swap-not-shop-school-and-lunch-supply-exchange/

Tech: https://www.techspot.com/news/74600-thinking-about-buying-refurbished-tech-what-you-need.html

Thrift: https://sustainableinthesuburbs.com/2019/04/25/thrift-shopping-for-kids/

Lunch: https://www.thespruceeats.com/bentgo-kids-lunch-box-review-4783985


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