Doing Good goes Back to School

There’s a hint of Fall in the air, television commercials are filled with happy teenagers all styled for the coming year, and the stores have had discount deals on backpacks, pencil cases and binders for weeks – that means only one thing, it’s time to go Back To School. And whether that’s an exciting thought filled with new classes, opportunities and friends or whether that’s a scary prospect, for both parent and child, there are plenty of things we can do here in the Granite state to ensure that we are supporting our communities and our environment. And I thought I’d share a few of my top tips for ‘doing good’ as we start a new year at school.


Whether it’s your first day of elementary school, you’re heading into your senior year or you are off to college, a brand new backpack has a certain allure, but how often do we buy a new item without really looking at the state of the old one. Perhaps this year, why not give a new lease of life to an old backpack. Sew up holes or cover them with funky patches made from recycled materials. Sew on vintage buttons and beads for a change of look, or add a new zipper. You’ll save an old bag from heading to the landfill and have a great ‘end of summer’ crafty activity on your hands at the same time.

So what’s going in the brown bag this year? Thankfully the start of school corresponds perfectly with a bountiful harvest time in New England and with over 80 Farmers’ Markets around the state year round – there is no better way to stock up on your weekly shop. And do you know, Farmers’ Markets are for families of all income levels – if you are on SNAP or have EBT benefits lots of markets around the state offer a great reward system. My local market in Portsmouth is always a favorite stop on a Saturday morning, with music, crafts IMG_4016and wonderful meats and veggies. At the moment I’m particularly enjoying cucumber sandwiches, and chunky spreads made with zucchini and summer squash on crusty bread. Buying some or all of your groceries at a local market helps boost your local economy by supporting local businesses and farmers. Also, the food is often fresher, and much better for you – so really it is a win all round. Check out this link for information on your local market.

It comes around fairly fast, the kids are dressed and ready, the lunch bags have been made and it’s time to head out the door. This year, or at least until the snow falls, why don’t you do the school run on your bike instead of in the car. If you are worried about sending the kids off alone, get on a bike yourself and join them. You might need to start out a little earlier but it teaches great road safety and awareness as well as being a great source of exercise. There are wonderful bike shops all around the state that offer bike health check-ups and group training days to practice on the roads. There’s Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth and Blue Steel in Manchester, Goodales Bike Shop has three locations in Nashua, Hooksett and Concord, Littleton Bike, MC Cycle & Sport in Laconia, Omer & Bob’s in Lebanon, Advanced Cyclist in Keene, and so many more! All of these establishments have long histories in the state, an expert team on hand and the best in bikes and gear all designed to help you and your family stay safe on your way to school.

I hope everyone around the state enjoys this back to school time, and don’t forget to share photos and stories about your ‘doing good’ activities with us as you head back to school. We are always on the look-out for more great individuals and organizations “Doing Good” around the state.

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