11/24/2010 02:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

3 Tips to Green Your Child's School

Do you see a lot of waste going on at your children's schools? Use these three tips to help green your local educational institutions.

1. Encourage email over paper: How many paper notices do you get from your child's teachers and administration staff? Let those in charge know that you'd like them to set a good example for your children by conserving paper and emailing those documents instead.

2. Pack a waste-free lunch: Consider starting a waste-free lunch program at your child's school to help make trash reduction a priority. On a personal level, avoid resorting to disposables such as plastic bags and paper juice boxes. Instead, choose reusable items. Check out the EPA's handy guide (PDF) for committing to cleaner lunches, cleaner campuses, and a cleaner planet for your kids.

3. Carpool to school: Dozens of people in your neighborhood make the same trip each morning and afternoon to get their kids to and from school. If it isn't feasible for your child to walk, bike, or take a bus, team up with your neighbors to safely fit as many students into one vehicle per trip. Each driver can claim a weekday; you'll get points for reducing pollution and for community-building -- and you'll find yourself with some extra time most days of the week.