Going back to school? Go green!

Auntie Ruth is green to the eco scene. Read up each week as she weeds through the dirt and unearths new gems of environmental knowledge.

Auntie Ruth is counting on all of you heading back to school soon to spread some eco-love to all your peers. Better yet, be not only an environmentally conscious student, but a leader as well. If your school does not have an eco-club, start one. Create a mission statement and set up goals like getting your school involved in the waste-free lunch concept mentioned below (start waste-free Wednesdays!). Next, gain support from peers and staff so that when you pitch your club to a school administrator, it’ll have some backbone. Bring awareness to others through posters and announcements on recycled paper; dub someone the club mascot by dressing the student up as Captain Planet; or better yet, draw in club members by bribing them with organic cookies (a little evil genius for a good cause)! The world is yours to save; make Auntie proud.

It’s safe to say that lunch is the most anticipated time of the school day for a kid. According to www.wastefreelunches.org, one average-sized elementary school generates about 18,760 pounds of lunch waste per year (see “Lunchtime,” SN&R Eco-Hit, August 14). The solution to this debacle is simple and beneficial. Create a waste-free lunch, which not only cuts back on trash but is cheaper and healthier. Use cloth napkins in lieu of paper, and utilize reusable utensils, such as storage containers and linen lunch bags. The Web site estimates that a lunch lacking disposable utensils and unnecessary packaging puts a whole $246 into your pocket each year, and may spare pupils from a few pounds, because junk food is the No. 1 culprit for packaging waste.

Students can’t start off the new school year without new school supplies, but what they can live without are school supplies that are bad for Mother Earth. The site www.amazingrecycled.com makes products as green as they get. They sell rulers made out of recycled money, blue jeans, newspapers and 100 percent polystyrene with 50 percent post-consumer waste. Nifty cardboard binders (all made from recycled materials, of course), and lovely portfolio folders with intricate kimono designs are also available. Being a Target gal and all, Auntie Ruth was pleased to read that Target now offers green school supplies like pencils made from recycled denim, pencil pouches made out of old Capri Sun containers and basic recycled notebooks available for just under a buck. Now you’re ready to learn!