Kids are commiserating and parents are rejoicing – it's nearly back to school time! Not only does the end of August mean a last-minute holiday homework panic, it also means it’s time to get your precious offspring kitted out with all the gear they’ll need for the year ahead. Here’s how to do it the environmentally-friendly way.
School uniforms often create a massive headache for parents; not only has your child miraculously grown a foot since the last time you purchased one, schools can be pretty demanding in their uniform requirements. Some even dictate particular fabrics and exact cotton mixes! However, once specific items have been purchased, such as blazers with emblems or sweatshirts with logos, things such as skirts, shirts and trousers are usually fair game. Check out Ecooutfitters.co.uk for a good range of basics for primary school kids, and CountySchoolWear.co.uk for a range of items for older children, including recycled polyester blazers and Fair Trade cotton garments.
Kids are expected to cart around a lot of gear these days, so school bags need to be durable, comfortable and supportive. Little ones will love these cute animal design rucksacks (handmade in Nepal), while teens might find this style – comprised of no less than seven recycled two-litre plastic bottles – a little more to their taste.
Again, gym kit specifications are often dictated by the school, but it is possible to make more environmentally-conscious decisions when it comes to footwear, and gym wear basics such as shorts or trousers. For trainers, try Brooks.co.uk. The company makes well-respected, supportive sports shoes that use recycled packaging, are sourced responsibly, contain non-toxic dyes and look pretty cool to boot. For clothing, check out Nike.co.uk. Nike hasn’t always had the highest green credentials, but the company has made a real effort in recent years to promote a greener image and sustainable product line. Some of their shirts, worn by football terms such as Arsenal and Inter Milan, contain material from eight recycled plastic bottles each.
You really don’t have to look very hard to find decent eco-friendly stationery supplies these days. In fact, it’s more unusual to find items that don’t boast any environmental credentials. However, we love these clever notebooks from Remarkable (which come in loads of colours) and these funky recycled juice carton pencil cases from TheFairTradeStore.co.uk.
If your child takes a packed lunch to school, consider investing in a durable, long-lasting and eco-friendly lunch box that’ll see them through to the end of their school years. Green Tulip have a lovely range of sturdy, good-looking lunch boxes available, all adhering to solid green specifications. These reusable stainless steel containers are so smart you might want to keep them at home, instead! Alternatively, try a lunch bag, made from recycled plastic bottles and designed to keep lunches cool and fresh. We love this cute design from Ecoutlet.co.uk. And instead of packing disposable utensils in your child’s lunch, try bamboo ones instead. They’re lightweight, reusable and don’t have any of the fossil fuels or landfill issues that are associated with plastic ones.
Pro tip: Before you go shopping, take an inventory of everything you already have. If your child already has a decent lunchbox or set of notebooks, there’s no point buying more!
OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
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Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.
uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded 'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.