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10 Ways to Go Back to School Green

As kids go back to school you might be in the market for a few new pencils, a notebook or two, or a whole new wardrobe. However there are ways to cut down on your spending and save the environment even at the start of a new school year. Here are some ideas to help your kids go back to school green:

  1. Know what you have – Many times you can find pencils, paper and so on left over from last year. If you keep your school supplies in one place it is easy to see what you need and don’t need for the new school year. Do not waste money on buying stuff you already have.
  2. Clothing swapping – There is no need for your child’s entire wardrobe to be revamped every school year. You can buy a few signature pieces, like new shoes, and then let your child wear last year’s clothes. If they have grown since then why not try a swap? Neighborhood families can swap kids clothes to save money. It puts a new spin on hand me downs and helps to create less waste in landfills and so on.
  3. Reuse – While it can be nice for your child to have a new backpack every year it is not necessary. Things that last like pens, scissors, paper and so on can easily be reused for the next year or for a younger child. Don’t buy into the idea that everything has to be brand new.
  4. Get thrifty- You can also buy school supplies and clothes at Goodwill or other thrift stores and save money. Even trendy clothes can be found for better prices at consignment stores and you are also preventing the need to manufacture new clothing by shopping used.
  5. Make a list – It is tempting to splurge on the shiny new pens and accessories for your child once you are at the store. That is why it is important to have a list and stick to it. Make sure you only get what they need, not every bit of junk that will be thrown away week two of the school year.
  6. Buy quality – What you do have to buy, buy high quality. Things that need to last like backpacks and shoes should be name brand and god quality. It may cost a bit more at the start but you can use it again for years to come. Some backpacks even come with a lifetime warrantee. It is hard to beat that deal!
  7. Sales – Every store has some kind of sale going on for back to school. Do your best to save money and time by hitting the store with the best deals. Comparing ads can help keep you from having to drive all over town to get the best price.
  8. Coupons – Many stores also have coupons. Instead of tossing all those flyers you get in the mail why not use them? You can save money and do something useful with that junk mail. Make sure to check online too for coupons there. Or shop online and save gas!
  9. Start early – To get the best deals and save yourself some stress, start school shopping early. You can add in a few school supplies with what you normally buy so it is not such a huge impact on your budget. By spreading it out you also do not have to make a special trip to the store for those school items.
  10. Kid free –Last but not least, shop without your kids. They are great at talking you into buying all kinds of unnecessary items. If you stick to your list and go alone you will be able to save more money and not end up with a lot of junk in your trash can later.

These are just a few of the ways you can save money and go green this back to school season.

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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