What Kind Of Water Do You Use For Baby Formula Go Back to School Green

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Go Back to School Green

in August, the shops are full of back-to-school supplies; The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that a record $55.12 billion will be spent on school supplies this year. In fact, Back-to-School ranks second in overall sales during the holiday season. For parents of young children, the choices usually come down to the brand of backpack and lunch box (Clone Wars for us last year).

Take a different approach this year. Green school supplies are not only good for the environment, but also good for your children. In particular, avoid items made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). A report from Tufts University states that vinyl chloride, a building block of PVC resin, is classified as a human carcinogen. Several studies have documented links between working in vinyl chloride production facilities and an increased likelihood of diseases, including liver angiosarcoma and other non-cancerous disorders. Additives mixed with PVC, such as stabilizers, plasticizers, and fillers, can leach out of the product during its useful life, causing public health hazards, including reproductive problems in children.

Another plastic, polyester, is also common in backpacks and lunch boxes. All the polyester production steps required to convert petroleum into polyester fiber are energy intensive and result in significant emissions, including large amounts of carbon dioxide. Polyester production also uses large amounts of water and lubricants for cooling, which can become a source of pollution.

PVC and polyester rear their ugly head in backpacks and lunch boxes.

Instead, look for backpacks made from natural fibers such as hemp or canvas. If your child needs a synthetic backpack for any reason, choose polyester or nylon instead of PVC.

Lunch boxes should also be made from natural fibers if possible; they also provide an opportunity to reduce waste and save money during the school year. Choose lunch boxes where you can pack lunch and snacks bento-box style, that is, in a way that does not require disposable food packaging.

Water bottles should be BPA free. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that can mimic the body’s own hormones and cause negative health effects, especially if exposure occurs early in development. Many states have banned BPA in infant formula containers, baby bottles, and drinking cups. If possible, choose stainless steel water bottles like those produced by Kleen Kanteen.

In addition to avoiding toxic plastics, choose tree-friendly products. Look for pens made from FSC-certified forests and paper with a high recycled content.

And if you want to be really green, avoid buying new school supplies. If last year’s items are still usable, why not use them and save money? Alternatively, try thrift stores, yard sales and Freecycle for used backpacks and lunch boxes.

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