Back to School Shopping: The best laid plans….

August 2, 2009

I think the back to school shopping is over.  The checking account certainly hopes so.  As you may recall, I had big plans for my green back to school shopping.  Let’s see what worked and what didn’t.

First, the clothes shopping.  A friend has some blue jeans that should fit my son.  So I’m holding off on buying anymore pants for him.  I did get some great organic cotton t-shirts – some for my son, some for my husband, some for myself – from A & E Designs Classic Apparel for a great price.  That was a real find.  But that was the extent of the green clothes for my son.

My daughter’s clothes shopping was a total bust in the green realm.  The best I could do was keep her focused on natural fibers. She’s still young enough that I have some influence.

How did we do on school supplies?  I had planned to get the supply lists and then hit Staples online to see what I could order.  That didn’t happen.  We did most of the supply shopping at Staples where I hoped we’d find a green bonanza. The sum total of our green purchases were 2 100% recycled paper notebooks (expensive even on sale), 3 packages of recycled paper pencils (from Target), and mechanical pencil lead in recycled plastic containers.  Pretty disappointing.

I could have forced the kids to pick out green items at Staples online.  But the clothes and shoe bill had really wiped out most of the back to school budget and I simply couldn’t afford a green shopping spree.  I feel like the embodiment of the difference between a green attitude and green behavior.  For back to school shopping I talked the talk better than I walked the walk.

I’ll have to write about grocery shopping – I think I walk the walk there pretty well.  And wait until next week when the Bauer Power people do their onsite survey with an eye toward solar and wind power.  Maybe then I can make up for the barely green nature of my back to school shopping.




  1. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not like recycled school supplies are easy to find, and many just plain don’t exist, like the highlighters and sticky notes on my daughters supply list.

    However, I did a “re-use” drive at my house this weekend. We did your Room Purge with the 2 kids and in the process recovered about 50 semi-used pencils that still had a decent amount of eraser left, a handful of rulers, a couple protractors, plenty of still-usable folders, a couple usable binders plus a barely used zipper binder, acres of crayons, a couple dozen pens and another couple dozen colored pencils, spiral notebooks that still had at least half of their pages unused, etc. Amazing what comes out of those drawers when you offer up a few pennies per product on a scavenger hunt list :-).

    • ooo, pennies per product – that’s inspired! It would work for my daughter too. My son, not so much, but then he’s more self-motivated.

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