Reduce Your Waste for the New School Year
Not that we need reminding but the last weeks of August signals the return of the nation’s kids to classrooms in a week’s time.
It’s back to school time! From new wardrobes to after school snacks – there’s all manner of new items to shop for. Whether opting for high-tech or second-hand, we want to help you get the most out of your new school purchases. Here are some of our favourite tips to keep you at the top of the class!
Long-live School Uniforms (and clothes)!
Grass stains, rips and art-projects gone awry – we all know kids can be tough on their clothes! While we can’t prevent general wear-and-tear, we can give our clothes the care they need by washing, drying and storing them properly. Following the care labels in garments is the best way to keep them in good condition and lasting longer. While this may sound obvious, it might actually be easier said than done. Around one-third of us in the UK are no longer wearing items of clothing from our wardrobe because we’re not following the washing, drying or ironing labels – this works out to around 39 million items that haven’t been worn in the past year.
Get to know what the care labels mean! Love Your Clothes has a brilliant wash label guide to help. They also have a handy guide for confusing drying and ironing labels too. And for those of you who love a challenge why not have a go at their care label quiz?!
Clothing companies have a role to play and are doing their bit to help create high-quality items that will last. Many school uniforms now come with adjustable waist-bands, perfect for growth-spurts. Iron-free fabrics also mean garments require less time and will last longer by avoiding damaging heat from the iron. Scuff-resistant shoes help keep your little-ones feet looking (hopefully) neat and tidy for longer! Most school uniform sellers have a dedicated section on their website describing the long-lasting features of their clothes so be sure to have a look.
Opting for second-hand is another option that will save money and keep textiles from going to waste. As children often out-grow their clothes from one term to the next, these items have plenty of life left in them. 60% of parents say they’ve bought or received pre-owned school wear, so there is a large market out there. You could also ask friends and family if they have items their children have out-grown to either give away or perhaps swap.
School lunches and snacks
Each year UK schools throw away 110,000 tonnes of food or enough to fill 84 Olympic sized swimming pools! It’s a good idea to remind our little ones to try and only take as much as they can eat.
If you’re packing lunches, keep in mind how much your child can eat. Here’s a tip if they are small: prepare a sandwich and cut in half. Presto – you’ve created two lunches. Keep one-half refrigerated and serve the next day or for an after-school snack.
Speaking of after school snacks. Preparing them in advance will save you time, money and packaging. Try buying a bundle of fresh carrots, celery, peppers or other vegetables – wash and cut into kid-friendly size pieces and store in a large Tupperware in the refrigerator. Add a shallow layer of cold water to the container to keep it all perky. Then each day before pick-up fill a small box full of them. You can use an old take-away container or purchase a long-lasting one. Remember to bring a reusable water bottle too!
Happy back to school everyone!