Back to School Green Tips


We all know instilling good habits is easiest when we're young. More parents and educators are working to make kids aware of the importance of caring for our planet. As kids return to class in the fall, here are some simple tips to encourage healthy habits and sustainable schools!

  • Safe (and Sustainable) Routes to School. Instead of driving alone, start a carpool, bike train, or group walk and take turns with other parents in the neighborhood to drop off and pick up the kids. You’ll each save time, energy, and fuel. Learn how Portland did it for inspiration.
  • Recycle. Ask administrators whether recycling bins and recycled materials are available and accessible, and if the kids are encouraged to use them. Make sure your child knows what can be recycled and what can't.
  • Advocate for Better Buildings. Many school buildings are inefficient and have poor indoor air quality, negatively impacting the learning experience. Check out the Earth Day Network and the Center for Green Schools for ways to make big changes.
  • Get Regular Nature Time. Studies show that children who spend more time outside are less likely to suffer from obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder, and depression. Encourage kids to get outside for an hour or two after school each day and on weekends. Encourage nature programming like these schools did.
  • Join the Movement. Since 2012, Green Apple Day has mobilized 750,000+ volunteers in 73+ countries to transform schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments. 



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