September brings the excitement of a new school year with new teachers and new friends. Unfortunately, the new school year can also bring the potential for more waste. Consider a new strategy of “reduce and reuse” this year, and use it as a teaching moment for your child. You can help them understand that their own choices can make an impact and begin to cultivate a mindset of refusing single-use and embracing environmental sustainability. Here are 5 actions that you can take:

1. Invest in reusable foodware for plastic-free, zero-waste snacks and lunches.
2. Buy in bulk, bring your own containers and shop local.
3. Check your office, shelves, desk, and closet for school supplies before you buy.
4. Get new (to you) clothes by buying secondhand.
5. Use this as an opportunity to educate your child.

Read more in Beyond Plastic’s “Plastic-Free Back To School Guide.”