Navy Blue backpack with recycled materials around.

How To Improve Sustainability At Your School

Charli Moore May 09, 2022

Start at home by minimizing waste, recycling and repurposing unwanted items, and making eco-conscious purchase decisions. Then, look for ways to care for the environment while you’re in class.

To help you plan out how to be more sustainable at school, here are nine easy things you can do right now…


Buy Sustainable School Supplies

From biodegradable pens and vegan leather pencil cases to stainless steel lunchboxes and beeswax food wrappers, there’s a huge range of sustainable school supplies to fill up your Recycled SuperBreak with ease. Recycled or biodegradable products are much better for the planet than their disposable alternatives so take the time to hunt them down when you’re restocking for next semester.

Here at JanSport, we’re working to increase our use of recycled fabrics, in fact, last season we saved the equivalent of 13,000,000 plastic water bottles* by using recycled fabrics and linings in certain styles.

*Based on a 16 oz plastic water bottle


Eat Green

Eating green means being conscious of your consumption. Studies now show that eating a diet that is higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal products is one of the most important ways you can help to reduce carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels, promote a healthier planet, and create a more sustainable food system.


Upcycle Furniture

Create unique interiors by repurposing secondhand furniture in your dorm room. Thrift stores and online marketplaces like Etsy are great places to find bargain items with upcycle potential. Paint an old wooden wardrobe for a pop of color or create a feature wall using secondhand frames and vintage posters. Not only will it look super unique, you’ll also have a great story to tell about each piece you upcycle.


Join a Recycling Program

Everything from clothing to chip packets can be recycled. Check out your local recycling programs and look online at TerraCycle to find national recycling solutions for typically hard-to-recycle items.


Donate Your Old & Unused School Supplies

Look out for local charities that collect school supplies to recycle or redistribute to children in need. The Crayola ColorCycle Initiative collects dried-up markers to recycle and Develop Africa accepts gently used school supplies for schoolchildren in Africa.


Be Energy Efficient

It may sound basic, but just being mindful of some everyday things can have a big effect. Turning off the lights off when you leave a room, not leaving the tap running unnecessarily, trying to reduce the number of electrical devices you rely on daily, and shopping local instead of ordering online, these are all ways you can get a little more efficient with your daily energy consumption.


Walk or Cycle

Drastically reduce your daily carbon usage by walking or cycling to class when possible. Not only will you be helping the planet by not using a car, the exercise also improves your own physical and mental wellbeing.


Reduce Your Food Waste

Only buying what you need at the supermarket and making sure that most if not all of it ends up on your plate can help to reduce food waste. Your leftovers can be repurposed in your home composter or collected by a composting service. Check with your local government for food waste initiatives nearby.


Volunteer To Start a Community Garden

What’s more sustainable or fun than growing your own food? If you have an unused patch of ground at your school or within your community you could soon be providing fresh vegetables and fruits to your school kitchen or local homeless shelter. Check out other ways you could volunteer in your community whether virtually or in person.

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