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T h e G r e e n Pa g e

Green your children By James Mason Ball

It’s back to school time again: a perfect opportunity for a refresher course in how to green your children’s school supplies, not to mention your own office supplies. And don’t miss the opportunity to educate your kids by including them in the process of selecting earth-friendly items. There are many ways to choose green while shopping for back to school.

Purchasing the right school supplies are some of the easiest ways to make some environmentally friendly decisions. Many products made from recycled paper and plastics, as well as biodegradable materials, are now readily available at most office supply and retail stores. Buying a reusable PVC-free lunchbox or bag is another excellent choice over using disposable brown paper bags everyday. And don’t forget a reusable, aluminum water bottle instead of constantly buying unnecessary water-filled plastic bottles. While it can be a little more of a challenge to find organic cotton and other sustainable fabric clothing options, more and more retailers are beginning to offer green options. Conventionally grown cotton is responsible for 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides, dangerous carcinogens that seep into our groundwater and pollute natural wildlife habitats. By choosing to purchase clothing made from organic cotton, wool, hemp, bamboo, silk or ramie you are also choosing to keep dangerous chemicals from polluting our world. A backpack is yet another item that can be found made from organic, sustainable textiles.

When purchasing a new computer, consider a laptop over a desktop. A laptop uses from two to five times less energy than a standard desktop computer, takes up much less space and the amount of materials used in production are also significantly less.

Spend some extra time with your children this year by planning and shopping for their school supplies together. Use this opportunity to educate them on how to be better stewards of our planet. Instill being green as part of their own decision making process as future consumers themselves. And be sure to tell them that you are doing it to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for them.

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Aug. 2009 Green Page  
Aug. 2009 Green Page  

August 2009 On Air Program Guide "Green page" for KCSM Public Television and Jazz 91 Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area