Back to School Challenge, Whether You Have Kids or Not

Back To School - Make a Difference

It seems that summer just breathed her first breath of warm air on our faces and yet here we are with autumn leaves just around the next corner. Kids across the country are in the midst of the back-to-school fury.

Some have already found their way to new classrooms, maybe even new friends, had and completed homework assignments, and are hopefully settling into a new year of experiences that will shape the kind of adults they will become.

Some (like us) are in the throes of catching those last few minutes of summer goodness before we send our beloved monsters babes off to broaden their horizons. There may be the last-minute scramble to find the best deal on eco-friendly school supplies or figure out the best method of transportation to keep the kids safe and have the least impact on the environment or even concerns about new teachers, new schools, and whether our kids will do well and make friends.

Green parenting can be challenging. Green parenting school-age kids can be even more so. There are so many hours out the day that we are not able to control.

We worry, we look for the best alternatives, we talk, we read, and we talk some more about what we can do to keep our kids safe day in and day out. This is going to sound harsh, but we are often too consumed with these individual quests, the needs of our own kids and the insular communities we have built for ourselves. Sometimes we need to look beyond and really make a difference.

There are plenty of other bloggers who will be able to give you advice on the best ways to green your back to school and I am grateful for them. I want to change the conversation just for a minute.

I want you to think of one way you can positively affect children. One community, one school, one child. It can’t be said enough – these our are future leaders, activists, mothers, fathers, adults making decisions that affect others’ lives every day – what happens now shapes their future and ours. Whether you have children or not, their development affects us all. We should all feel we have a stake in the state of the world in which they are living, learning, and growing.

We all have a skill we can employ to help others. For some it may be volunteering for a project already underway. We can donate school supplies for children who need them (while hopefully seeking out those eco-friendly alternatives). We can volunteer for environmental education projects. We can plant gardens in schools and teach children how to grow food, healthy food. We can work toward better school lunches for all children. We can work with school districts for more energy efficiency and green cleaning supplies in school buildings. We can do a lot.

But really, I want you to think about your own town, your own community of children, and really, really think about one way you can make this school year a little better.

Will you join me?


This post was written for inclusion in the Green Moms Carnival hosted this month by Micaela at Mindful Momma. Please hop over to see all the other participants insightful posts!




Back to School Challenge, Whether You Have Kids or Not — 12 Comments

  1. I will by all means join you in the endeavor to make this school year better. I am already working with some friends of mine around the community to children do not stay at home for things like lack of books or any other minor things.

  2. Count me in. Here’s another way to help kids. Be kind to the children in the neighborhood and look for opportunities to share with them. Kids want to be included and if, for example, they see someone gardening and want to ask questions, we can either encourage their interest by patiently talking to them or completely discourage them by discounting them. It’s such a small thing … a moment of our time to listen to a child … but it has a strong, lasting affect.

  3. Hmmm back in the spring I was throwing around an idea of starting a Repair Café at our school. Spearheaded in the Netherlands, it’s a growing movement where volunteers teach you how to fix your broken toaster / bike / favourite sweater / whatever. Builds community, keeps stuff out of landfill, increases awareness of what we buy in the first place. Thanks for the nudge, I think I’ll get on it now.

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