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  • Pima DEQ offers these back-to-school tips

    Jul 28, 2016 | Read More News
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    School days are upon us and now is the time to plan ways to be gentler on the planet and save money, too.

    Below are a few suggestions from Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) as you and your family consider actions you can take to reduce Schoolwaste and improve air quality.

    Preparing for School
    • Let your kids help you put the lunches together the night before. When they are involved in the preparations, there is a better chance they will eat the food instead of throwing it away. Homemade lunches are also more nutritious than their pre-package counterparts and cost less. 
    • Think water instead of soda and use a refillable container instead of plastic bottles.
    • Use reusable containers and utensils and cloth napkins decorated by the kids themselves.
    • Purchase school supplies made from recycled content.
    • Buy “new to you” vintage and retro clothes at thrift stores and take old sneakers to stores that recycle them.
    Getting to School and After-School Activities
    • Explore walking or riding bikes with the kids as an option once or twice a week to combine some exercise with the school commute and save on gasoline and wear and tear on your vehicle.
    • Form a walking school bus in your neighborhood and “pick up” kids along the way to school to encourage exercise, instill pedestrian safety skills and begin lifelong healthy habits.
    • Check out carpools as a way to share driving to school and/or after-school activities.
    • Taking the school bus, if available, reduces traffic congestion and air pollution caused by idling vehicles around school grounds.
    • If it is necessary to drop off and/or pick up your child, avoid engine idling which pollutes the air where children are gathering and can increase asthma episodes in susceptible children. Park your vehicle, turn off the engine and wait in the shade.
    In addition to providing information to encourage actions to improve the environment, PDEQ offers free resources to help teachers meet state standards including customized air quality and environmentally-related interactive presentations for all ages.

    Let your child’s teacher know that we are here to assist them in reaching their teaching goals.  For additional information, visit PDEQ or call (520) 724-7446.