SPRINGFIELD, Mo — As parents and teachers prepare for back to school and are going shopping for school supplies, it’s important to keep in mind the waste produced by the packaging of all those products.
Laurie Duncan and Ashley Krug with the City of Springfield’s Environmental Services have some tips on how to reduce waste and avoid buying plastic products when you go shopping for school supplies.
Duncan says shoppers should begin with the end in mind by paying attention to the packaging of items like pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and scissors. Sometimes, you can’t avoid some plastic on the packaging of certain products, like scissors – for safety reasons – but there’s almost always a more environmentally friendly for other items that can also be less expensive.
Krug discussed ways to minimize waste when packing lunch for kids. For example, using a Bento Box, or other types of washable containers, instead of plastic items – even silverware! She showed us how bee’s wax can be used instead of a sandwich bag or aluminum foil. Krug also reminded parents of the food waste produced when kids don’t finish all of their food at school, so being mindful of how much food you’re packing is also important.
Duncan and Krug also do school visits where they teach classrooms how and why to recycle, and can also help teachers prepare a lesson on the environment and related issues.
Duncan says teachers can also set up field trips with the Environmental Services to teach kids about recycling, sustainability and other topics surrounding the environment, including a trip to the landfill and other sites.
For more information on those opportunities, or to contact the Environmental Services, click here.