Greening (and Cleaning) the School Carpool
Being part of a carpool for school is a great way to save time, money and the environment. However, in order to truly grab the great green benefits, you need to keep these tips in mind:
Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition including properly inflating tires—tires that are underinflated have a negative affect on fuel efficiency. Also, if you anticipate idling for more than 30-seconds, turn the car off—idling wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
Set up carpools with families in your own neighborhood. If you are new to the area, check with your school to see if there is a carpool list or visit Carpooltoschool.com. So many parents drive miles out of their way to participate in a carpool—this doesn’t help the environment, your wallet or your schedule
Carpooling little athletes? Make a DIY air freshener spray by combining one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, 25 drops of your favorite essential oil and warm water in a spray bottle. This will keep your car smelling fresh even if the kids in your backseat are not.
Speaking of little athletes, if you are carpooling to or from after school activities, consider keeping some snacks and drinks in your car to avoid late afternoon hunger meltdowns. Buy healthy snack food options in bulk and divide them into reusable snack containers (love these from Pottery Barn Kids). You can also freeze water in reusable containers and put them in your car at the beginning of the day—when school or practice is over, the ice will have melted and your carpool kids will have a deliciously cold beverage.
Fill a reusable grocery bag with eco-friendly cleaning supplies, a microfiber cloth and a small handheld vacuum cleaner. Keep the bag in your trunk so you can do a quick clean up after a muddy day on the soccer field.
Stash 3 reusable bags in your car. During those moments of waiting (when your car is off—not idling!), do a quick clean of your car—putting trash in one bag, recyclables in another and use the third bag for items you find that don’t belong in your car—or even to your child. This will help keep your car organized and clean throughout the carpool season.
Talk to us: What tips do you have for surviving the school carpool?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Ben Francis