Sustainably Back to School -


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Buy Locally

You local businesses are owned by your neighbors. When you spend money in their shops, they will have more money to spend in other businesses, preferably local as well. This has a compounding effect. With more money staying in the community this adds to the probability of more jobs, lower taxes, and, eventually, a more diverse display of businesses. But, it all starts with YOU choosing to spend at your local businesses.

Use Thrift Stores

One of my favorite memories with my children is hitting up the thrift shops. My wife and I gave them a set amount (something like $20), gave them the instructions to find at least two "new" outfits, and then let them loose. This is a great way to teach your kids about budgets AND get them to actually buy clothes that they'll wear. You'll also shorten the loop!

Reuse Supplies From Last Year

If you were able to plan ahead, grabbing your child's backpack at the end of school last year will give you a great start for this year's shopping spree. Before you head out to the local big box retailer, see what you already have in your house. Make sure to reuse supplies that you already own. Every year, six billion pens are thrown away that still work — so make sure you don’t have any functioning supplies lying around before you buy new ones.

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Think Twice When Buying New Clothes

Before you go to either thrift store, online site, or your "low-price leader", make sure you have a need to buy clothes. Are you children's clothes fitting them still? Do you have a fresh supply of hand-me-downs? How much longer will they hold up to growth spurts or games of tackle football? Once you take stock, you'll be in a much better position to purchase more responsibly. Remember, it takes thousands of litres of water to create a shirt and jeans combo.

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