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Pupils and teachers alike are probably trying not to think about going back to school as the long summer holidays have only just begun, but as it is actually only a matter of weeks away, we have been thinking about how you can stay green as the new academic year approaches.

Firstly there is the equipment and kit that is invariably required whether you are teaching or learning. Many of these requirements are similar from primary school up until university so keep reading whichever type of educational establishment you work or study in. Stationery is a good start, much of which can be bought made from recycled materials. And when it comes to paper, remember to use both sides whether writing or printing. Also plan ahead with regards to lunches and invest in a lunch box rather than using plastic bags every day. If you need new school uniform check whether your school offers second hand clothes and donate your old good quality ones.

With regards to getting to your school or college, try to walk or cycle whenever possible, or use public transport if it is too far. Alternatively, set up a car sharing pool to reduce car use and save money.

Once you are there, you could think about how to make your school or college greener. Why not set up some eco-iniatives with colleagues or peers? You could become a Fairtrade school, set up a recycling scheme or move towards using renewable energy.

Ultimately, going back to school is just one more part of our lives where we can easily make a difference to our carbon footprint by making small changes to the purchases we make and actions we take. So as you start making plans for the next school year, think about how these could be a little greener.

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Source by Hayley Jones

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