Summer weather may have returned, but now that holidays are over, we are looking forward to another great school year!

Last week we shared some posts on our social media for sustainable back-to-school tips, and we thought we’d put them all in one place for you so you can refer to them again.

Hope you find them useful!

1. Sustainable lunches.

We know, the daily lunch grind is REAL but making sustainable choices doesn’t need to involve more effort. Choose lunchboxes, cutlery, napkins and food wrap that can be washed and used again – reduces cost, reduces waste.

And choosing local produce when possible is super healthy and great for the community.

2. Second-hand books.

This can be a bit trickier in the digital age for schools that use a book along with the e-book as the codes can be one time only. Be sure to check! But second hand books are a great way to save on waste (and cost!) when the situation is right.

3. Reuse and repair supplies.

Time to break the cycle of pressure to buy a new backpack/ pencil case/ lunch box every year. Change it up with a new patch or badge to keep it interesting. And have a go at repairing broken zips or torn seams before throwing in the black bin – youtube is great for little tutorials!

4. Active and sustainable travel.

Start the year with a spring in your step! Consider ways to leave the car away from the school gate – can you carpool with local friends? Is it safe to cycle? Can you park the car a distance from school and walk, or even walk the whole way?

Less traffic at the school gate means better air quality, less stress, and active travel to school helps children start the day energised and helps to improve concentration. Give it a try!

5. Start with a positive mindset.

We are all in this together! Our Green-Schools committees around the country are doing such great work and having such a positive impact on making our schools more sustainable.

Back in May, we were treated to this fantastic performance by Francis St NS at the Dublin Green Flag awards ceremony, of Dermot Kennedy’s ‘Outnumbered’. They felt this song made them feel hopeful when things felt a bit negative. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

And don’t worry, eco-anxiety can affect even the most positive of personalities. Have a look at some ideas for managing Eco-Anxiety on our website.

Have a fantastic year ahead!