8 Low-Commitment, Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions
By: Monica Weintraub
It doesn't matter if you're watching TV or walking around — all we're hearing about right now is back-to-school shopping. And of course, it's important to get your growing littles clothes that fit to keep them comfortable in the classroom. But there are other things to focus on during this time. Make your new back-to-school tradition finding ways to give back as a family. Whether you want to make a volunteer day out of it or you want to teach them how to do their part on a regular basis, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to do good this back-to-school season.
You’re already taking the kids out to buy school supplies, so this is an easy way to show them just how good doing good feels. Grab a few extra sets of the main supplies, like pencils, notebooks, folders, and crayons. When you're done shopping, bring the new supplies to Salvation Army. For students who don’t have access to school supplies or schools where funds are low, this can be the difference that allows kids to get the education that they deserve.
Operation Backpack is another way to make sure that kids in your area have the supplies that they need. And it's a fun way to get your little ones involved, since you can choose to fill a backpack for a kid that’s their age. And in the end, they get to see their hard work all come together in the filled backpack. Just check out your local chapter and find the supplies list so you know what to look for.
We love letting our kids work to raise money and help us give back. But there’s nothing like taking the entire family out for a volunteer weekend. This allows your kids to see firsthand that sometimes the most important thing they can give to others is their time. And Feed My Starving Children is one of our favorites. There are permanent sites for packing in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas, but they also have MobilePack events nationwide. Just find the closest site and sign up for the two-hour shift that works best for you.
Make sure your little ones know the power of a good book by letting them share the magic with other kids their age. It's also a great way to get ready for the school year — clean out your bookshelves to make space for more challenging reads to keep your kids learning more and more each day. Contact your local library to see if they’re accepting donations or find a list of organizations that accept used books here.
If your family loves animals, this is a great way to give them those puppy and kitty cuddles. Especially if you don’t have a pet of your own. It will also teach them the responsibilities that come with having a pet, by letting them feed, clean, walk, and play with the animals. Contact your local animal shelter to find out if there are any age requirements and what volunteer opportunities they have. But we'll warn you that you might fall in love with a few four-legged angels while you’re at it.
Happy giving and happy back-to-school season! If you have other favorite ways that your family gives back, comment below and let us know. Otherwise, check back with us for more tips for sustainable living and eco-friendly shopping!