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Helping Your Child’s School Be Green

One of the things that pleases me about my daughter’s school is that they do endeavor to be fairly green. They started recycling last year. They have gardens. It’s pretty nice. But of course there’s always more to be done.

This has not been a year for me to participate much at my daughter’s school. I had such trouble with my last pregnancy that I am not about to push things this time. And things have gone much better this time, so with any luck next year I can actually start participating more directly.

Perhaps the simplest thing we do as a family is walk to school. We’re within a few blocks, so driving would be insane. The traffic backup at the school would probably make driving take longer than walking. Yet I know parents near me who prefer to drive that distance.

We just keep talking up the walking and the fitness advantages. The gas price advantage has of late slipped away somewhat.

We also pack lunches in reusable containers. My daughter adores her Klean Kanteen. And if it doesn’t cut back as much as I’d like on the food waste, at least she brings the excess food home so I know when she’s wasting it by not eating her lunch and we can talk about it. If she eats a school lunch, the excess just goes in the trash. What good is that?

Setting an example is one of the simplest things to do. Participating in the decision making process, of course, is far more powerful.

Joining the PTA is one of the best ways to have a voice. The one at our school is pretty active, which is nice. Lots of events to encourage parents to come over.

Of course, it helps that in southern California being green and wanting to conserve water is a sign of sanity. These aren’t so controversial as in some areas. It can be challenging some of the time, but really not so bad as other areas.

Another great thing you can do is volunteer in your child’s classroom. How better to give the teacher direct input and make suggestions?

Parent participation is required in the preschool program, and I was able to do a lot of it during my daughter’s kindergarten year too. It was fun. There’s nothing like getting to know your child’s friends and the other parents. This year, when it really hasn’t worked out due to my pregnancy, has been less fun for me because I don’t get to help out. I know a lot of the kids from last year, but it’s not the same.

Being involved means you can point out green alternatives. You can point out waste. You can help to find solutions.

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