Here are a few ways you and your family can help the planet, stay healthy, and save money while heading back to school this year!
Pack a lunch
Did you know that the average elementary school disposes of 20,000 pounds of lunch waste every year? That’s 10 tons of trash per school! Help your children pack nutritious lunches, using foods of your and their choice. Use earth-friendly reusable containers and a reusable bottle or thermos for water or milk, which will reduce the amount of packaging and food waste your family produces. Don’t buy pre-packaged “single-serve” items. Talk with your children about how the choices we make affect our planet.
Don’t idle your car in front of school
Idling vehicles are a major source of smog. Smog is particularly an issue at schools because many bus drivers and parents sit with their vehicles idling while waiting to pick up children, creating a huge cloud of pollution for students to walk into as they leave the building. Smog has been found to:
leading to more frequent and severe asthma attacks;
increase the number of respiratory infections;
aggravate and induce allergies;
increase school day absences;
and increase emergency room visits, hospital admissions and premature deaths.
If you are going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds (except in traffic), it’s always best to turn off your engine. Idling your vehicle for longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel than it would take to restart the vehicle, saving you money, too.