Go Green This School Year
One of the most exciting parts about heading back to school is shopping for school supplies. Before you buy everything on your checklist, consider making a few purchases that’ll make your haul more sustainable. First, see what didn’t get used last year before you start repurchasing everything. You might find stashes of notebooks, pens and highlighters that you can start this school year with. To keep the green vibes going, search online for how you can recycle old materials to give them new life.
Table of Contents
Hit the Books
Family-owned and operated company Michael Roger designs and produces super cute and eco-conscious products. Recycled notebooks include spiral-bound, college ruled, lined, dot grid, composition and more for writing, sketching and graphing for any class. You can also shop binders, filler paper, pencils and pens. At decomposition.com for $6-$16.99; sets available for $60-$192.
Keep the Charge
Help make electronics and accessories, like your wireless computer mouse, more sustainable with Better Battery Co. They’ve created the first carbon neutral battery with a built-in recycling program, and you can find different batteries, including AA and AAA, at betterbattery.co for $31.99-$44.99.
Bring color to class with eco-kids’ beeswax crayons. The eight vibrant natural crayons are nontoxic, safe and packed in a reusable cardboard tube, and their triangular shape keeps them from rolling off the table. Available at ecokidsusa.com for $6.99.
Writing will bloom with SproutWorld. Sourced from natural products, these carbon-neutral pencils have a second life as plants. Plant the pencil stub after use to grow herbs, flowers and more. Available at sproutworld.com for $11.99-$49.99.
Ready, Set, Learn
Onyx + Green is a company offering tons of products for back to school. Shop sustainable backpacks, laptop bags, binders, folders, notebooks, dividers, glues, pens, pencils and more, such as The Recycled Newspaper Backpack, scissors made from corn plastic or calculators made from recycled plastics. Shop at onyxandgreen.com.
Check Your Schedule
Help your child keep track of all their assignments and responsibilities with Worthwhile Paper’s Worthwhile Recycled Paper Planner. The intentionally blank dates of this 17-month planner allow your child to maintain weekly plans, take notes, track habits and more. Available at worthwhilepaper.com for $31.99.
Samsill’s Earth Choice Binders are made from plant-based plastic, and the boards used to give the ring binders structure are made using 100% recycled material. Available in multiple colors with options for 1-inch to 4-inch binders at samsill.com for $6.37-$34.59.
Shop sustainable supplies with agood company. They have sustainable stone paper notebooks, and their natural grass pens and pencils are made of eco-conscious materials; items are also refillable, which reduces waste. For every item sold, the company donates up to 500 liters of water through charity: water. At agood.com for $4-$40.
JanSport’s Restore Pack is made from recycled waste fabric, surplus webbing and cording and 100% recycled polyester labels. The bag has a water bottle pocket and a laptop sleeve. Available in five colors for $55 at jansport.com. If you have a child heading off to college, check out their Surplus Laundry Bag to make laundry day easier.
Crafted with 100% recycled textile, lunch will stay cool all day with the Insulated Recycled Lunch Box from Ten Little. Made with a waterproof lining, the fully insulated main zipper compartment features an interior mesh pocket for convenient storage. Available in two colors for $22 at tenlittle.com.
Shop ECOlunchbox’s collection of plastic-free lunchboxes for products made entirely from stainless steel for an easy way to pack lunches. The Blue Water Bentos have steel container bases and silicone no-leak lids. Along with bento boxes, shop snack sets, insulated canisters, cutlery and more. Available at ecolunchboxes.com for $5-$92.50.
Chew on It
Keep your kids from using and disposing of plastic cutlery with a reusable set from EKOBO. These colorful spoons, forks and knifes are made from responsibly-sourced bamboo for on-the-go meals. Sets are available in multiple colors for $12-$14 at by-ekobo.com.
Reusable water bottles are an easy way to start being sustainable. The Yeti Rambler Jr. for kids has double-wall vacuum insulation for keeping drinks cold as ice. The stainless steel material can take a tumble when your kid makes a mess, and the included straw cap is leak resistant. Available in five colors for $25 at yeti.com.
Swap single-use bags with reusable bags with Bee’s Wrap. Bags and wraps feature cute prints for an adorable lunch. Made from waxed organic cotton, once it’s time to let it go, you can compost it. Available at beeswrap.com for $6.49-$39.99.
The Right Temp
Keep food cold with reusable ice packs. Thrive’s ice packs help keep food and beverages fresh all day long, and the double-walled design prevents leakage and breakage. Packs are guaranteed to stay frozen for up to eight hours. With six different styles, it’s easy to find a set that your whole family will love and use. At amazon.com for $16.95.