Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Lesson Number One: Get Organized

By Archive, August 16, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
Back to school means back to jam-packed schedules, with kids running from one activity to the next. It’s a challenge to keep everything organized. Akilah offers a great suggestion for reusing what others might simply toss in the trash to keep the myriad projects tidy: "My kids always have a project going. We reuse glass jars to store arts and crafts supplies, mix and store tempera paint, little terrariums and temporary 1/2 day bug habitats (after holes are punched in the metal top), and for kitchen experiments like pickling all sorts of things." As your kids head back to school, how will you think green?
Category: Green Action




Beth Bennett says ...
Lunch is rife with opportunites for recycling. We opt out of the school lunch offered at our school and pack healthy alternatives instead. Our lunches are packed in lunchbags that we use for the entire school year, and we use plastic containers saved from Chinese takeout to pack foods and keep them neat. We use the school utensils which are metal and washed and reused daily. Snacks are not prepackaged, individually wrapped portions! We make our own trail mix from our favorite nuts, dried fruits and cereals, bought in bulk. This way, we keep all packaging to a minimum all year long. Some of the kids have even started to follow our example when they see the yummy lunches we bring!
08/16/2007 9:22:50 AM CDT
Kendra says ...
We have stopped buying foods that are packaged in nonrecyclable material. We bake our own cookies and granola bars eliminating the amount of packaging waste. We drink water during the day eliminating all those juice and milk containers. We snack on fruit and veggies everyday that we have bought using our own cotton fruit/veggie bags and carried home in our own green grocery bags.
08/16/2007 11:40:33 AM CDT
LKS says ...
I always encourage my students to make their own book covers out of old paper grocery bags (which they can decorate on their own) or old gift bags. This encourages them to recycle and cuts down on costs for back-to-school supplies as well!
08/16/2007 2:52:29 PM CDT
Lisa Bernard says ...
For years we have reused small yogurt containers for lunches (perfect size for snacks). I have replaced reusable plastic containers with small glass ones (my kids are old enough!), and we buy larger sizes of juice or water and pour them into individual empty single serving bottles which we wash/ reuse. We've also replaced ziplocs with reusable containers, or natural wax paper bags if they need disposable lunches for field trips.
08/16/2007 7:24:24 PM CDT
Stefanie Schmidt says ...
Back to school is a great time to recycle because I pack lunches in reusable lunch bags, and I have the kids save their sandwich bags to use throughout the week or pack them in plastic containers. We buy organic fruits for a healthy snack and at home we have recycle containers setup for plastic bottles and cans. Since I usually read the newspaper before it is time to head off to school, I have a bin to recycle the newspapers too. The biggest way I go green during the school year, is to carpool. A group of us have a set schedule so one car can take all the kids in the neighborhood. For snacks I always buy in bulk and portion out individual servings to use during the week to save on packaging.
08/16/2007 8:31:28 PM CDT
Susan W. says ...
We take every container that we get from the Whole Foods Deli department, and wash it out after it's finished, to use for storage of school supplies like glue sticks, beads, rubber bands, paper clips etc. so no container gets thrown out! We also re-use them for school lunches!
08/16/2007 11:37:24 PM CDT
Cathy says ...
I volunteer in the art room at my kids' school to make sure we are using environmentally friendly art materials and using recycled materials whenever possible. I prepare a list of recyclable materials that families can send in for art projects, like egg cartons, plastic bottle caps and clean paper bags. We display the childrens' art at an annual show and offer a prize for the best project made of 100% recycled materials!
08/17/2007 11:07:13 AM CDT
Cindy Snyder says ...
I prepare my entire household for back to school by making sure that I have all the earth friendly products that I need into the fall. I compost and recycle and only use earth friendly products in the laundry, kitchen, bath, etc. I make sure I have ample supplies of all cleaning products and detergents. I love the Ecover and Whole Foods brands of dishwashing, laundry detergent. After that I plan for lunches and meals that are healthy. I have plenty of fresh fruit and healthy snacks available for after school. My son tends to want to drink soda, so I buy the better brands at Whole Foods made with cane sugar. My whole house is becoming earth friendly! Recycling is big in our house because I hate to have alot of waste. I reuse alot of the plastics that come my way. I share alot of this with my co-workers and they too are becoming earth friendly!
08/18/2007 6:49:52 AM CDT
Bev Dywan says ...
My child walks to school. Other friends nearby can join in fro them to do the 'walking school bus'. This is a bunch of kids all walking together, enabling younger children to go too in a safe group. This helps the kids to al be aware of safety issues, get some beginning and end of day exercise, and removes at least one car from the road, especially in the vicinity of the school.
08/18/2007 12:04:22 PM CDT
Mary-Jeanine Ibarguen says ...
Hi, I have a green idea you might be able to post. I would certainly love that $25 gift certificate! I have discovered that spraying any kind of kitchen/counter spray at ants will stop them in their tracks long enough for you to wipe them up with a wet cloth. I really like the Meyer's brand counter spray, but I've tried all kinds of cleaning sprays and they all work. Must be something in the soap. So instead of spraying that nasty, toxic bug spray, try using a gentle counter spray like Meyers. Then use a wet paper towel (or better yet, an old washcloth!) to wipe up the spray, the ants and any dirt that needs to come up...all at the same time!
08/26/2007 8:19:00 PM CDT
Kandyce says ...
I work in an office where we use a LOT of paper. In an effort to reduce paper waste (& calm my conscious!!), I reuse the clean back side of paper when printing reports and other stuff that doesnt go out to clients. It works out great, specially for those reports that just get reviewed and thrown into the recycling bin. I believe that by reusing the back side of our printing paper.. I cut down on about a reem of paper every 2 days! That really adds up. So, not only is the paper getting reused and recycled, the company is saving money on continuously buying printing paper! I've even gotten a new employee to do it too. You should try it!! It's not to much of a hassle and I get more exercise by going back and forth to the printer to put in my recycled paper! Another benefit!!
08/31/2007 10:48:54 AM CDT
Sam Kizer says ...
My family is not big on recycling, so I am taking the initiative to get everyone started. I heard from my grandfather, who is Master Gardener, that coffee beans are great natural fertilizers for plants of all sorts. The coffee grounds, which came from the earth, are going back into the earth. All you have to do is dry them by letting them sit out, remove them from the filter, and place the grounds in the soil that you want fertilized. It really has some benefits. Unfortunately, I have not discovered a use for the filter yet, but at least my family is getting the idea of "going green."
01/03/2008 2:54:50 PM CST
Ama says ...
The coffee filter grounds and all can go into your compost. No need to dry it first!
04/09/2009 10:30:49 AM CDT