At O’Connor Insurance one of our biggest goals is ensuring a bright future for the next generation. Sometimes that means analyzing life insurance coverage. At other times it means doing everything in our (solar) power to go green. Working with Enphase Energy, we operate solar panels on our office building to create energy and offset our carbon footprint.
In the month of July, our office offset 1.3 tons of carbon. For those not in the carbon offset game – that is the offset equivalent of 33 trees. So far in 2016, we have offset as much as 269 trees (or 10.6 tons of carbon).
As you get your children ready to go back to school this month, think about changing some of these things in your routine to ensure a greener tomorrow:
- Print responsibly. There are things that you just need on paper (permission slips, art projects, math drills), but before hitting “print,” think about whether or not that paper is just going to go back in the recycling bin in a couple of days. Use recycled paper and only print when necessary.
- Choose school supplies wisely. There are many sustainable and recycled supplies available now, so buy them. Every year 11,600 incense-cedar trees are turned into the yellow number 2 pencils we grew up with. Choosing refillable, mechanical pencils or supplies made from recycled material can cut down on this massive amount of tree loss.
- Carpool when possible. Yes, being the “carpool parent” means listening to a bunch of chatty kids WAY too early in the morning, but it also saves gas which saves emissions. If your child has a bus route available to them, even better!
- Pack a greener lunch. Use reusable containers for packed lunches. Ziploc bags can be reused several times (and even washed) before tossing. The juice box of yesteryear is no more; get a reusable bottle and put drinks in that. Bonus tip – freeze the bottle of water or juice and you have an easy ice pack that should be thawed by lunchtime. Rather than buying “snack pack” products that have individual packaging, buy larger bags of the same product and portion them yourself. Not only will this save money, but you will be saving the planet.
Children are our future, so teaching them how to buy and live sustainably should be on everybody’s radar. We hope you have a safe and restful back-to-school season.