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Back to School!

August 02, 2015

It’s that time of year again, as we say goodbye to summer and head back to school. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as we start off this new school year:

Rethink Your School Supplies!

  • Reuse supplies from last year.
  • Shop your local thrift store for gently used school supplies.
  • Purchase earth-friendly supplies such as refillable pens and items that will last for several years.
  • Exchange excess supplies with friends or classmates.
  • Look for recycled paper products for filler paper, binders, notebooks, composition books, construction paper and sketch pads.
  • Avoid PVC plastic. Products using PVC will have the number “3” inside or the letter “V” underneath the universal recycling symbol.
  • Check out the EPA's back-to-school consumer guide for reducing waste, and as you place items into your cart, be selective -- you'll be saving not just dollars but the environment, too.

The Green Schools Buying Guide has more helpful tips!

Pack a Waste-Free Lunch!
Do include:

  • Sandwiches in reusable containers
  • Whole fruits and veggies without packaging
  • Drinks in reusable or recyclable containers
  • Snacks purchased in bulk and brought in reusable containers

Do not include:

  • Individually wrapped snacks
  • Paper napkins and plastic baggies that are not reusable
  • Disposable forks and spoons
  • Juice boxes and straws

PlanetBox stainless steel lunchboxes are a safe alternative to plastic, and provide an environmentally friendly way to pack a waste-free lunch. Their innovative design includes a variety of decorative magnets that allow for changing styles, making the lunchbox truly sustainable. Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and Jack Johnson partnered with PlanetBox to create limited edition “Aloha” magnets designed by Heather Brown, for their eco-friendly lunchboxes. 
Check out our Healthy & Waste-Free Lunches Resources Guide for more tips. 

Get Involved in Greening Your School!

  • Build a garden or start a healthy snack program on campus
  • Help your school adopt a Green Fundraising Policy 
  • Start a recycling program and plan a waste audit of your cafeteria
  • Start a Green Team: include students, teachers, parents, local community and business partners
  • Join the Plastic Free Hawaiʻi program and reduce single-use plastics on campus

Keep informed of events, teacher institutes and workshops, and other educational resources by signing up for our Hawaiʻi Educator’s Mailing List, a newsletter especially for teachers.

Green Fundraising Ideas for Schools
Learn how to profit from healthy and environmentally friendly fundraising activities. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Recycling Drive
  • School Swap Meet
  • Student Farmers’ Market
  • Locally Grown Flower & Plant Sale
  • Vermicast Sales

For the entire Green Fundraising Ideas for Schools Reource Guide go to www.kokuahawaiifoundation.org/resources