There are so many easy ways to go green this school year and a few fast tips is all you need when shopping (or not) for school supplies.

Back to school time is an exciting time of year. Another chance to reinvent the student you want to be, and a fresh start without any previous grades to tie you down. In this new year you may plan on studying harder, joining another team, or making new friends. Why not make a promise to help the environment in this time of exciting change? There are so many easy ways to go green this school year and a few fast tips is all you need when shopping (or not) for school supplies.

It’s OK to reuse!

Try using notebooks from years past that haven’t been filled yet. You will save money and the environment by not consuming more than you need. That goes for backpacks, lunchboxes, and any other thing you feel you “must” have.

Go PVC free

PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) is very toxic and better left out of your back to school plan to go green! Opt for lunchboxes and backpacks made from recycled or natural fibers.

Green your ride

The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to forgo fuel-guzzling vehicles all together. Riding a bike or walking if you’re close enough if the best option. If you have to drive join a carpool or even ride the bus!

Break up with plastic water bottles

You hear it again and again, but as students, repetition is the best way to learn! Invest in a cool BPA free plastic or aluminum water bottle and save all the excess waste that comes from disposable bottles.

Start a new style trend

Everyone wants to go back to school with the latest clothes… but this year it is time to start a new trend. Try shopping at thrift stores to give others’ old clothes new life. Remember, that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Don’t brown bag it

Use a natural fiber PVC free bag or lunch box to carry your food. Paper bags are a thing of the past; tree wasters that are no longer cute or environmentally conscious.

Purchase recycled

There are many wonderful brands that now carry 100% recycled notebooks, folders, and binders. Invest in these companies when necessary, but remember salvageable supplies from years past will be your safest bet!

Opt for used texts

Shiny new books look and smell great, but cost tons of money and are extremely wasteful when older versions can be reused. Check online retailers like Amazon for used textbooks. Not only will you save money, but you will be choosing the greener option.

Spread the word

If your school does not already have a recycling program talk to administrators about starting one! If you don’t have an environmental club to talk about your town’s issues, start one! Being a voice in your school is a great way to spread awareness about what is vitally important to the planet we all share.

Monitor Electronics

Unplug to recharge this year. Making sure you avoid the phantom draw at home is one thing, but getting your school library and computer labs to shut down when the last bell rings is another step. Let your voice be heard.