Across the country, and around the world, many of our children have already headed back to the classroom. In the United States and Canada, Labor Day – the first Monday of September – is traditionally the last day of summer vacation for many of our children. As we start gathering our children’s school supplies and back to school clothing, we begin by searching shelves and closets to see what supplies are left over from last year, what school clothes still fit, and what we may need to replace or find. Our back to school travels often bring us to stores and malls, as we ready our children for their first day of the new school year.
We want to share a few of our musings, suggestions, and thoughts on staying calm and sane as that first day of school fast approaches.
First, on the product end of things, at ClimateMama we often talk about how important it is to reuse, repurpose and “re-find” some of those back to school items you tossed in your drawer and forgot about ie. items you bought and then didn’t have time to use but may be able to use again. Make sure to take an “inventory” of what you already have on hand before you head online or out to the store for school supplies.
Second, it is really, really important, with school supplies and in fact with any products you buy, to support those companies that are taking a stand for sustainability, that are concerned about a product’s lifecycle and that try to incorporate recycled, content, organic products, and innovative packaging (less is more) into their designs. Let your kids be an example of their, yours, and your family’s efforts at living sustainably and promoting a healthier planet, one recycled pencil, binder, reusable water bottle, and lunch container at a time!
Third, in the USA, as we get closer to the November mid-term elections, electing new leadership and supporting current leaders at the local, regional and national levels who not only talk the talk on climate solutions, but also walk the walk has never been more important. Politics in the USA seems at its worst rather then at its best. As parents we want to put our best foot forward for our children and set a great example, not a cynical one. Remind your children that voting is our right and our obligation. Do your research well. On climate action and on many related issues dear to our children’s future well being and now, there are clear and definitive choices; seek them out.
P.S. Check out our partner Young Voices for the Planet and consider sharing the link with your child’s teachers. This organization offers curriculum for k-12 that is based on some amazing videos of young people who are empowered and empowering as they take action on climate change.