Energy Saving tips for back to School – Homeschool

This post was created to be included in the Change The World Wednesday Challenge at Reduced Footprints.



Cyndi at Reduced Footprints published many awesome energy-saving ideas.  They are very practical and  easy to accomplish.  In this post, I wanted to focus on ideas to curb your carbon footprint when it comes to going to school or at your homeschool.


The Eco Friendly Pocket Book – Not a small topic with a growing family

  • Pull your kids out of preschool.  It’s an unnecessary expense.  Over the next year, I will be discussing ways to effectively (and probably to your child’s betterment) keep your child at home.  Save that $200. $300. $500.00 or more per month.
  • Don’t buy into the “back to school” craze.  My mother would spend $100’s of dollars on just back to school cloths for us.  Unnecessary.  Clothes need to fit, be clean and presentable.  Let’s remember, that the kids in the latest fashions are not necessarily the ones who are excelling.  Does one child need hundreds of pencils, mechanical pencils, pens, markers, glue, glue sticks, etc?  Really?  It’s not about being mean.  You are teaching valuable lessons.


  • Don’t buy the school lunch.  Purchase a reusable bag and thermos.  No need to spend money on school lunch or use paper bags than need to be recycled (further energy use) – if they really end up in the recycle bin.


Paper Savings

  • eBooks – if you have an eReader, this is good savings – money, space and paper-wise.  It’s just smart.  Plus, if you don’t have an iPad or other fancy reader (like me) Amazon gives us options.  You can download the book (free pc app on Amazon) and read it on their cloud reader.
  • Instill into your children the necessity to save paper.  There is no need to use 1 small piece of paper for scrap and through the rest away.  The same scrap paper can be used all day – in a lot of cases.  Just place it in the back pack, keep using it, then recycle when you get home.  If you are homeschooling, keep the same piece of paper for many days until it’s completely used.  We have a scrap pile that we take from (pieces that have been colored on that nobody wanted or pieces that were previously cut).

Scrap paper


  • Use both sides of the paper.  When we are working on handwriting, we use both sides.  I have a handwriting folder, that we take from.  We don’t choose a new piece until the first piece has been used.
  • Don’t buy the full curriculum (which in most cases you don’t need).  All the flash cards and felt hangings, and whatever.  It’s an energy drain – time, money and footprint.  I have come across loads of curriculum where they want you to buy $300 + in books, DVD’s or a combo.  Buy the basics – and use the library for the books.  One can only read so many books.  If you find one book a week at the library – that’s plenty.  If you are inexperienced and need help determining what the basics are – ask.
  • Buy curriculum that covers many different areas.  I use Biblioplan for history, geography, literature, and writing supplement.  It’s a fantastic program that I will talk about regularly (Sponsored).  Doing this will cut down on the amount of stuff needing to be bought, used, recycled, saved, or thrown away.


Energy Saving Eco-Friendly Projects

  • Develop a seasonal project/service project which focuses on the environment.  This could be a homeschool project or school supplement.  If you do this from a very young age, they will grow up mindful.


How are you mindful about your energy usage when you operate your homeschool (or when your kids go back to school)?

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. This post is so sensible. We don’t home school, but when the supply lists come, we start by shopping at home. Usually there are only a few things that we actually need to buy. This year, I balked at buying 36 pencils. Thirty-six: really? I asked my children to buy a few from a friend who did have 36. As it turned out, CelloPlayer produced a stack of pencils, all found on the classroom floor last year, and abandoned / disavowed by their owners. Finders keepers!
    CelloMom recently posted…Teach Your Parents Well: Children’s Views on Climate ChangeMy Profile

  2. I don’t homeschool, but those are great tips babe. I know…I laugh when I see kids in school with faccy supplies or brag about $500 shoes. Okay, they may have the money…but seriosuly it won’t help you learn….doh!
    I;m so behind in reading blogs, just got over the cold from hell…knocked me out and back a week, LOL
    karen recently posted…Sometimes Simple is BestMy Profile

    • Hey Karen,

      I have missed you. I was like, where is Karen, and my numbers have shown it as You are one of the 2 people who visit my blog regularly. I am so glad that you are feeling better.

      I know that people get all caught up in the hype and in the moment. I think it’s hard for kids to step back and see that it doesn’t really matter what type of shoes you wear. But, they are searching for acceptance, and nobody really sees the big picture.

      Thanks so much for stopping in! Tell them to stop with the craziness at school.
      Lisa recently posted…For your Cloth Diapers – Merino Wool and Bamboo GiveawayMy Profile

  3. I homeschool so I can totally relate to your ideas and suggestions. Clothes? I’m to the point where I politely reject hand me downs for the kids. And it has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with space and having just the basics. It’s just as you stated, “fit, clean and presentable”. Great post!
    Tati recently posted…Baby’s First BitesMy Profile

    • WOW, Tati! I have missed you. How are you doing? I hope you are well. I was just thinking yesterday – man, I wonder where she is.

      Yes I know what you mean, Tati! Hand me downs can be a blessing or a curse. People really want to declutter their homes and clutter up mine. Sometimes, we can get so many, that I can no longer fit them in the drawers. Plus, people want to give teenage size when they are 4. I’m like, you need to take these back. By the time they get that big, I will forget that they are here.

      I hope things are well. Thanks so much for stopping by. It is really nice to see you.
      Lisa recently posted…For your Cloth Diapers – Merino Wool and Bamboo GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Great article Lisa! We also use dry erase board and small chalkboards to practice lettering and drawing to save on paper!

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