Green & Healthy Weekly Tip!

Back-to-School Tip (from the Green & Healthy Team)

Did you know?

Good indoor air quality and proper lighting contribute to a healthy learning environment and protects the health of everyone in the home. Most people spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors. According to the US EPA, indoor air pollution levels may be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can contribute to:  worsening asthma symptoms, headaches, fatigue, nausea, muscle aches and cognitive impairment. Here are some simple tips to freshen the air, and create a green and healthy homework space for your child:

* Provide your child with a healthy snack to get him or her started. http://cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/healthy_school_snacks.html

* Provide natural lighting or place a full-spectrum lamp directly on the workspace to illuminate the area. Research has shown that light plays an important role in mood and alertness.

 * De-clutter and organize the workspace.

Organizing the Disorganized Child by Martin L. Kutscher & Marcella Moran offers excellent tips.

* Provide clean air – open the windows! Remove air fresheners, candles, conventional household cleaners, personal care products that contain fragrance, and other scented items from your home. Many of the ingredients in these products have been shown to contaminate indoor air quality. Remember that "clean" doesn't have a smell. To find green household cleaning supplies, visit:

http://www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/pubs/products/cleaning.htm

* Choose safer school supplies:  water-based paints, unscented or low-odor markers, soy or beeswax-based crayons, pencil highlighters, wooden pencils, glue sticks and water-based "school" glues, PVC-free binders and notebooks, paper products made from post-consumer waste and free of chlorine bleach. For more information visit:

http://chej.org/backtoschool2013/

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2013/08/back-school-shouldn-t-mean-back-toxics

Also, as we try to minimize our environmental footpring, please be sure to pack a waste-free lunch! Need some help? Check out these websites:

http://www.epa.gov/osw/education/lunch.htm

http://www.wastefreelunches.org/