With the daily scramble to locate lost P.E. kits, find exercise books and pocket locker keys (and all against the ticking of the clock) it's no wonder that the school run isn't exactly the highlight of many parents' day. In fact, it can be so stressful that it's easy to forget there is another way. By taking a step back from the usual scrum, and thinking 'greener', parents can treat the planet, their kids and themselves to an altogether easier start to the day. Get inspired with these simple tips...
Share the Burden
Looking at the statistics, it should be a 'no-brainer'! Surveys show that 91 per cent of parents in the UK believe that it's important to care about the environment. So why do 68 per cent of the same parents never share lifts with other kids? A lift-share scheme really is the simplest, most environmentally-friendly way to get children to school. By sharing the burden of driving between parents it's possible to lower emissions, and keep cars off the road. Yet only one in five parents get involved in a lift-share on a regular basis.
If you want to get a lift-share scheme set up at your school then it's time to be proactive. Put a piece in the school bulletin on your plan and speak to the parents of kids that live nearby your house. The more schemes that start off in the UK, the greener driving will be.
Get on your Bike
Meanwhile, if you don't drive - or don't want the hassle of driving, then a bike is a great investment. Young children will enjoy pedaling along with their parents (though older children will most certainly prefer to pick their own way to school). With child obesity on the rise, cycling is fantastic for getting your children, and yourself, moving in the morning. Do, however, remember to invest in some basic safety equipment. A helmet is a compulsory accessory, while lights and reflective gear are essential so you are visible to early morning traffic. It also pays to ensure that your school has secure bike racks, where your child can leave their bicycle for the day.
Take a Walk
Walking is the ultimate eco-friendly way to reach school on time. It's good for you too - and doesn't require any special equipment. If you find that younger children can be sluggish, then try a simple game. Tell your kids to imagine that each child has their own superhero, who must get to school without touching the ground. Then get them to act out climbing pylons, leaping high fences and vaulting across roofs. It's a fun start to the school day and can really fire up young imaginations.
Of course, if you live in a remote or rural area lift-shares, walking or biking are not always going to be practical options. Unfortunately, budget cuts sometimes mean that school buses are not provided. If you find this isn't the case then it's worth petitioning your council to invest in a new bus route. After all, school buses dramatically slash the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and give children a chance to socialise before they hit the classroom.