With summer coming an end, much attention is turning to getting back to school. Here at The Refinishing Touch we’ll be turning our attention in the same direction as we review trends in education – one of the key industries that we work with.
Just like any other industry, education can see great returns from increasing sustainability initiatives. Green can have an impact at every level: from campus design, building or refurbishing dorms, choosing classroom furniture, right down to how students spend their money (or perhaps that of their parents’).
As students load up on the essentials to prepare for the upcoming year, it’s obvious that the focus should be to keep your kids prepared for their academic endeavors. But doing so responsibly is a challenge many parents seem to be failing.
According to the National Retail Federation families spend an average of $606.40 on back to school purchases. Yet many items that are bought are intended to be disposable. On some level, this is to be expected and is often practical. After all, you can’t expect a third grader to understand the care needed to look after a $75 pen. Sometimes a three-dollar pack of pens is the most practical solution. However, with the increasing consumption rate of students – every year in the US, an estimated six billion pens are thrown away along with 38 tons of paper, equivalent to 644 trees – a shift in thinking about back to school purchases may be needed.
Dollars aside, it’s important to make children aware of the cost of production, both financial and environmental. By increasing this awareness, tomorrow’s generation can pay more attention to the impact of consumption and the benefits of green practices by buying recycled products and thinking about how they look after their own belongings. We see many sites with sustainable and recycled products for back to school shoppers, but The Ultimate Green Store is definitely one of our favorites.
An increased awareness of the things we purchase every day and their sustainability is something that we can all learn more about.