Back to School In a Sustainable Way

How are we feelin' Mama??  And Dad's too!

In-person, virtual, or hybrid, anyone with school age children has returned to school by now.

I have two kids, my son, who is seven, is attending in-person school five days a week and my daughter, who is officially in four year old preschool, will be staying home and I get to put my teacher cap on!

Yeah for me………… (softly crying). 

To tell you the truth, if I am being honest with myself, my husband and I made the decision to keep my daughter home, not only to limit our family’s exposure to COVID-19, but I have the time to do hands-on teaching and some creative projects with her.  My daughter is personable and has friends right on our block, so we do not have much concern that her funny, yet insistent personality will be at risk.

This summer, we spent much of our time outdoors, exploring different places that are usually not on our agenda during a "COVID free" summer.  However, as my family soon discovered, our adventures were a learning curve to adjusting to a new new way of doing things.  We quickly realized that there was limited access to bathrooms and places to wash hands.  Our family also found ourselves having to be experts at packing all the essentials a family with small children needs on daily trips and excursions. 

 

We also started to recognize that being out of the house meant we needed to invest in some eco-friendly “essentials” to create less waste when in public places.  Not only did the eco-friendly practices we put into play help the environment, we found it also decreased the chance of bringing home unnecessary germs.  With COVID-19, it is important to be able to regularly wash items that we pack. 

Our Peruvian Frazada is always in the back of our car and we used the blanket frequently in so many settings.  Our MAYTA Collection frazadas are multipurpose and used as picnic blankets, beach days, drive-in movies and blueberry picking.  I was also fortunate enough to escape for a few girls only gatherings, where we ate WAY to much charcuterie....and maybe a bit too much wine too!!    

                    *Packing up my Peruvian Frazada for the girls weekend getaway!

Here are some of my thankfully invested items that will hopefully make your household ready for the school year and encourage your family to live more sustainably.

  1. Our Peruvian Frazada - handwoven from naturally dyed sheep wool.  Durable enough to go anywhere.  
  2. With small kids, packed lunches are a staple these days with the Covid restrictions.  It is also a way to save money and be creative with new recipes.  We started packing everything in reusable, washable lunch containers like these.  They have been easy to clean and multi use from putting pasta salad, sandwiches and cheese and crackers.  
  3. We went nowhere without our reusable water bottles - each of the kids and my husband and I have one because the temperatures this summer have been HOT.  I invested in these Swell water bottles for the kids because it made it easier to drink and really kept our ice water chilled.   
  4. I was walking the aisles of my favorite grocery store, Aldi (of course) and stumbled upon these wide mouth bendable straws that I've been using religiously. These were a game changer because they are color and wide mouthed so kid friendly.  If your not lucky enough to find them in your local Aldi shop, I found these, with the same bendable shape and pretty color palette. 
  5.  We also invested in some reusable cutlery for kids. Aside from the cute little container they came in, they are going to be perfect for school because we can label them with my son’s name and hopefully, fingers crossed they won’t get lost.  Further, the individual packaging avoids waste, confusion, and germs.
  6. And of course, we can't forget our masks.  I’ll tell ya, at first, when the whole mask wearing rule started to be implemented, I was bummed.  Yet, my fashion loving self  soon realized that wearing a reusable mask was just another way to express your fashion sense and have fun.  Yes, makes are as essential as our car keys but I have bought some beautiful masks that really compliment my style. I also bought some reusable mask for the kids.  With both of them having small features and barely a nose, I wanted ones that had the metal nose piece so that they would stay on.  This 2-pack of fun, reusable masks are a great size.

We would love to hear ideas your family, or even you have put into place to create a more sustainable school year.  We are all in this together, whether remote learning or heading into the classroom, so we might as well band together and have a united front.

*I am not endorsing any of these products, this is just what I found that works best for my family.

XoXo ~ 

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