Back to school

Summer is winding down. Back-to-school sales are in full swing. Maybe your kids have already started school again.

Here are 5 strategies for saving money and resources when getting the kids, whether they’re in grade school or heading to college, ready for the semester.

1.    Rent a text.  Before dropping hundreds of dollars on college textbooks, explore other options. Save money and paper by renting textbooks, buying them used, or by going digital. Try to get a list of textbooks you’ll before school starts to get a head start on finding the best deals.


2.    Eco-friendly dorm. Talk to your college-bound kids about ways to transfer the green habits they’ve learned at home to their college dorm experience. Be sure to send them off with some basic green gear, such as power strips, LED bulbs, and energy efficient fridges.

Take a look at Unity College’s TerraHaus to see an innovative, sustainable dorm and this blog.

For more about greening dorm life:

3.    October 8th, walk, bike to school. Organize your own event for International Walk to School Day on October 8. And instead of making it just a onetime event, use the day to build momentum and create interest in swapping pedal power for car rides all year. It’s better for kids’ health to get some exercise each day and walking or riding to school, of course, benefits the environment. to plan and organize your day, map routes, and learn about safety.

4.    Green service day. The 2014 Green Apple Day of Service on Sept. 27, 2014 is designed to get parents, students, and community organizations working on projects to improve local schools and make them healthier and more sustainable. Last year 200,000 people participated in projects that included cleaning schools, planting gardens, making repairs, organizing recycling programs, and conducting energy audits. Learn more about the event and find inspiration for your own project

5.    Swaps. Your kids’ gently used clothes from last year don’t need to end up in a thrift shop or a landfill. Organize a clothing swap among several friends or do a broader school-wide event. Keep in mind that this strategy also works for adults looking to freshen up a fall and winter wardrobe. Click these links for ideas and how-tos.


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