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Your Stuff: Back-to-School - September 25, 2012
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With school days underway and cool weather coming soon, now is a great time to make the most of Portland’s great resources for school – checking out new places to shop for fall clothes, organizing carpools or finding good bike and walk routes to school, and getting ready for great packed lunches.

Clothes for kids

  • Portland is overflowing with great used kids clothing stores – Daisies and Dinos, Sweetpea and Piccolina in SE, Bella Stella and Beanstalk in inner NE – to name just a few. Kids grow out of clothing so quickly, it's easy to find high-quality, barely worn clothes and shoes for babies to elementary age kids. Its always a great time to purge your kids’ closets of outgrown items to exchange.
  • Find clothes and shoes for big kids – middle school through college and beyond – at Portland’s locations of both Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co., as well as Red Light and many more used and vintage stores.
  • Or host a clothing-swap party for friends and neighbors, and donate anything that’s left. 

Getting to school

  • Carpool – Collaborate with other parents on a carpool for the kids to reduce pollution and traffic congestion while saving time and money. Use this free online tool to find carpool companions.
  • Bike – Find bike to school maps, info and events or sign up for the Safe Routes to School newsletter.
  • Walk – Promote exercise and get some yourself by walking with your kids to school.

School lunches

  • Pack waste-free lunches by using permanent containers, reusable utensils and cloth napkins.
  • Choose tap water over bottled products. It's just as good and – at less than a penny per gallon – it's a great bargain.
  • Create weekly meal plans in advance to stock the fridge in one trip, saving time and gas money and reducing congestion and pollution. 

School Supplies

  • Computers – Consider refurbished computers over new ones. They often cost less, and may even come with a warranty when purchased from the manufacturer. Free Geek is a great place to donate old computers and buy replacements.
  • Buy products with more recycled content – paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer materials, for example – and less or no packaging. If the product comes with packaging, ensure the wrapping or container includes recycled content and can be recycled.
  • Chose quality over quantity and resist buying in bulk. Take a realistic estimate of what you need and if you don’t need to buy in bulk, then don’t. More isn’t always better – even if it comes at a cheaper per unit price.

 Additional Resources

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