Best Sustainable Back to School Products
While the kids are heading into a new grade at school, it’s time to graduate to the next level of back-to-school shopping! If you’re already working towards minimizing your waste at home through better “reduce, reuse, recycling” habits, these sustainable back to school ideas will help the kids continue to be thoughtful while they are away. In fact, you might want to snag some of these for yourself! Upgrade their school supplies with these creative and sustainable ideas:
Eco-Friendly Lunch Totes
Adults can save thousands of dollars a year by packing a lunch, and the saving continues when packing a lunch for the kids. Give them something cool to carry it in!
1) Decorate their existing lunch box!
The most sustainable option is to be creative with what you’ve already got! Resist the itch to purchase a new lunchbox by giving that old one a fresh new look. Turn this idea into a craft hour for the kids by letting them decorate their lunch boxes with stickers, decoupage, non-toxic paint, or gluing trinkets or eco-friendly glitter to the outer surface.
2) Use what you already have or go thrift hunting!
Turn the day into a thrift store hunt and encourage the kids to hunt around at each shop for a used lunch box that they can give new life to, or let them choose from some you already own!
3) Purchase an Eco-Friendly Lunch Tote
Say good-bye to traditional brown paper bags and plastic lunch boxes with these beautiful reusable lunch bags from Etsy! Durable and leak-proof, these totes are made with cotton canvas and coated with beeswax.
Reusable Sandwich Bags and Food Wraps
Avoid wasting plastic and tinfoil when packing lunches by using reusable containers and wraps. These adorable sandwich bags by LunchSkins are what we can call an investment! Reusable, washable and dishwasher safe they come in a variety of colors and patterns to suit any style. LunchSkins offers a range of sustainable products to help you go plastic-free and they claim their products can help you replace up to 500 plastic bags in their lifetime!
Made from hemp and Certified Organic cotton fabric, waxes, tree resins and essential oils, Etee Food Wraps form a protective, breathable, antimicrobial seal that lets food breathe so it can stay fresher, longer. Good for up to 150 uses, these wraps can save just as many plastic baggies and 150 feet of plastic wrap from entering our landfills, plus they are fully biodegradable.
Pack larger or liquid items in glass mason jars or other washable containers to cut down on waste and dish out the perfect portion when meal-prepping lunch and snacks in advance!
Sprout Plantable Pencils
These sustainable pencils do more than just write! Once you’ve used them to a stub, plant your Sprout Pencil in a pot and watch them grow! With special editions and customizable options the fun never stops.
Reusable Cutlery Sets
Ditch plastic cutlery and straws for a sustainable and reusable set the kids can bring to school each day. Eco-friendly bamboo sets are great options, as well as durable stainless steel. This set from amazon.com even includes a straw cleaning brush and travel pouch.
Treehugger has a great list of 10 Eco-Friendly Backpacks, with our favorite being the Kasum TSA-Friendly Laptop Backpack, made entirely out of up-cycled materials destined for the landfill.
Recycled Paper Notebooks
Every kid needs at least one paper notebook for the school year, and usually plenty more. By choosing 100% recycled paper journals you can give new life to post-consumer waste and reduce demand for new paper. Be sure to recycle used notebook paper when your done! Brands like Ecosystem offer notebooks in a variety of styles, and include features like built-in pockets, Certified Organic cotton bookmarks, and various ruled line options. When using paper at home, stock up on printer paper made from 100% material as well!
Organic Multi-Surface Wipes
Keep their backpacks stocked with a roll of Certified Organic Multi-Surface Wipes which the kids can use to wipe down dirty desks or clean up their locker. If they don’t have room to store the whole container, place a handful of wipes in a thin reusable pouch that will easily fit between books and binders. Made from sustainable sugar cane, GO by greenshield organic™ containers and bottles are recyclable and can easily be up-cycled to create fun storage containers and craft projects.
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