The Green Route Back to School

The start of the school year is almost always preceded with a shopping trip. Uniforms have invariably been grown out of, or worn out, stationary is stocked up on, books are bought (and rarely read) and the current list of fads and fashions add to the burden as well. Matt Gribble, a student in biology and environmental economics at Stanford University, has written an interesting piece for the Guardian on how to stock up for school in a sustainable way. There are some good tips, such as making sure that any stationary is created from recycled or sustainable sources, and avoiding single-use containers for packed lunches. A lot of the tips though, seem to involve buying products that are greenly produced, which seems like creating a shopping list, rather than finding products to fulfil needs. It's not green to buy green products in order to appear green if you don't really need said product in the first place.

Other tips, such as waiting a year or two to buy a computer, when certain retailers aim to remove polyvinyl chloride from their products, seem completely unrealistic. If you can wait a year or two to buy a computer, then surely you don’t need one anyway. Our guides for How to Go Green should provide some additional advice. Try How to Green Your Work, and How to Green Your Kid's Toys. ::Guardian

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