You have tried your best to make environmentally sound choices for your family, followed the experts’ advice and teach your children the green way to go from diapers to toys, but now, it is off to college they go, and for many of us trying to grow green children into green adults, we wonder how environmentally friendly the college experience will be. After all, if colleges and universities don’t offer many eco-friendly choices from locally, organically grown products in meals or even recycling efforts how can parents help their children take their green “roots” with them at college.
Most colleges don’t allow first year students to have a car on campus. Why not make sure their first year doesn’t include the dreaded freshman 15; those 15 lbs that most first year students pack on due to poor food choices and less time for exercise. Not only can you help you college aged student get the exercise they need but you can also reduce their carbon footprint with a brand new bike (don’t forget the lock and safety gear). Even if your child isn’t a first year student a bike can help them get around campus quickly, easily and without relying on gas to get around.
Save some money and some plastic by purchasing a water filter pitcher like Brita or Pur. This way you student can have clean and safe drinking water whenever they want with the plastic bottle chemicals and waste. You can also pick up reusable water bottles for them to take on the go, and no, they can’t be filled with beer from the keg!
Avoid any extra college “charges” by using electronic items like: a Solar LED flashlights; solar chargers, which can be found for under $100.00 to power up those cell phones or MP3 players; or offer them a winding cell phone charger. The winding cell phone charger offers about 6 minutes of call time for every 2 minutes of winding. Go green and get a work out too for around $30.00. Not only do energy saving power strip serve a practice purpose since let’s face it space and outlets are limited in most college dorm rooms, a power strip can help them reduce “vampire power,” the electricity pulled by computers and electrical appliances when plugged in and even turned off.
Many of us know the perils of pulling an all nighter while at college, so why not make sure that your college students has sweet dreams with a certified chemical free organic pillow for around $75.00. After all when they finally do “lay me down to sleep” shouldn’t the air they breathe in be chemical free and made from natural materials? Dorm rooms and colleges are, like many hotels experiencing bed bugs. Using organic bedding can help cut down on these creep crawly blood suckers. Dorm rooms are small spaces; let’s keep them chemical free and as all natural as possible.
Cleaning green can be an expensive task for most budget conscious college students. Why not send a care package that offers green cleaning products like Seventh Generation or even a basket of supplies to create all natural cleaning products.
Students miss all the pampering and special products they can get at home. I know my children do and the first thing they want when they return home for breaks is all of their favorite things. Why not keep them stocked up with organic toiletries like Kiss My Face shampoos and body washes or Tom’s all natural toothpastes and deodorants.
We all know how hungry college students always are. Why not send in your next care package organic treats such as fruits, chocolates, or Newman’s Own organic cookies. Maybe some Fair Trade coffee can help them stay awake for all that party-ing (ahhemm) studying that they are doing.
So, whether you are sending your college aged student a care package, buying them a gift or visiting them at their school, consider taking with you one of the eco-friendly gift choices. You will know that your college aged student will appreciate it and you know that you are continuing to grow green children into environmentally friendly adults.
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