Back to School Prep

August 10, 2019

Getting ready for a new academic year can seem daunting for a lot of different reasons, least of all the dreaded school supply list! Check out our top tips to help you reduce waste, save money and start the new school year off right.


  • Stick to the LIST! Read it, keep it with you, and avoid buying anything extra.
  • Shop at home First. Check last year’s backpack and lunch bag. If they are in good condition, reuse them. Have supplies that were sent back home in June? Send them right back in September.
  • Invest in quality items. They can be used year after year and will save you in the long run.
  • Avoid full ‘character’ designs. A neutral item can be decorated easily and changed up year after year.
  • Shop without children! It is easy to spend more money with kids along for the trip. Decide on items they can pick and take them out specifically for that.


  • Purge the closet and dresser! Get the kids involved to decide what fits and what they will still wear.
  • Make a list of what they need for fall and stick to it.
  • Have a child in band? Choir? Basketball? Hockey? Dance? Connect with other families involved in your child’s activities and have a clothing/gear swap or sale.
  • Donate or recycle all unwanted clothing soon after you sort through them … you don’t want them making it back into the closets.

Waste-Free Lunches

  • Reduce waste by using reusable containers and food wraps – They come in every size and colour!
  • Use real – Utensils, straws, cloth napkins and thermoses.
  • Send water in reusable bottles – Water is a natural and healthy way to keep kids hydrated.
  • Send whole fruits and vegetables for snacks – These are healthier options and better for the environment than prepackaged snacks.

And… why not coordinate a “walkpool” in your neighbourhood?  This is a great idea where walking (or biking) to school is an option. It reduces emissions from vehicles, traffic at school drop-off and everyone gets some activity.