How to go back to school without the waste

back to school without the waste

By Lottie Dalziel

I have so many fond memories of getting prepped to go back to school from covering my books with leftover wrapping paper to DIY project and lots of baking. I cannot stress how much of this list comes down to preparation, planning and organisation - sounds boring right? It doesn’t have to be and putting in the groundwork now will help you have a less wasteful year ahead.

1\ Refresh 

If you’ve got an old ringed notebook, remove any old sheets and it will be as good as new. If you have some old ringed binders make it into a DIY kids project and give them a refresh with a new covering and some stickers. 

Tip: You can easily remove any old stickers with an old rag and eucalyptus oil.  

2\ Recycle right

Before you head off on your annual Officeworks trip have a scavenger hunt at home. Yes, it’s a tedious task but sort your pens and highlighters into working or not piles. Gather up all of your old pens and highlighters and deposit them in the specific recycling bin at the front of the officeworks store. P.s you can also donate your old e-waste too and any old ink cartridges too. 

3\ Shop mindfully

 Similar to when you are going to the grocery store make sure you write a list before you hit the shops, Have a look at what you’ve got and write down only what you need. When purchasing new choose products that are made from recycled materials and notebooks that have the FSC label. 

4\ Make your own

The school holidays are a great time for DIY projects. Instead of buying new use old clothes and bits and bobs around the house to make your own pencil case, swimming wet-bag or lunch bag. 

Fun fact: I started my first business when I was 12 making pencil cases for friends! Dust off your sewing machine and teach the kids how to make their own with a couple of pieces of old fabric and a zipper. 

5\ Pack it 

Reduce the amount of plastic in your lunchbox and invest in a good plastic-free lunch box (like the one below which is made from bamboo) and lunch bag. When it comes to snacks think fresh fruit and if you’ve got some time wrap your home-baked goodies in beeswax wraps

6\ Plastic-less snacks

The best kind of snacks are the ones you make yourself. If you have a bit of time up your sleeve bake a huge batch of muffins or banana bread in advance and freeze them (the Onya Bread Bag will also help keeps freezer bite away!). Stock your pantry with other simple plastic-free snacks like popcorn, chickpeas and trail mix.

7\ Second is best

Did your child somehow grow out of their uniform over the break? Try and swap their uniform with another family who has alternating ages to yours or shop secondhand at the uniform shop, chances are they will have grown out of it by this time next year!

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About the author

Lottie Dalziel is the founder and editor in chief of Banish. She has a passion for the environment and wants to help educate and inspire individuals to make small changes towards a more sustainable future. Stay up to date with her latest challenges on Instagram @banish.au.


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