It’s time for back-to-school shopping, and you may find yourself feeling frustrated by the lack of green choices offered at your local big box stores. Fret not, oh eco-conscious ones–school supplies for kids don’t have to be harmful to the environment. Our back to school supply list includes resources for eco-pencils, recycled paper products, PVC-free binders and more! Even the most discriminating environmentally friendly children will be pleased.
TerraCycle’s upcycled school supplies make our eco-friendly back-to-school supply list. Image: TerraCycle.
Schools may be eliminating cursive lessons from their curriculums, but fortunately not writing all together (yet anyway!); that means you’ll need to include pencils on your back-to-school supplies list. TreeSmart makes eco pencils and colored pencils from recycled newspapers. They’re so cool, you may want to buy a few extra for yourself to help resist the temptation of stealing them from your children.
Eco pencils made from recycled newspaper. Image: TreeSmart.
You’re going to need a sharpener for those pencils. Buy one from made from bamboo and recycled plastic. And while you’re at it, get a bamboo ruler too. Both are available at Eco Home Store.
Recycled paper products are pretty ubiquitous these days and can be found at most office supply stores. Put that recycled paper in PVC-free binders made from recycled materials by Naked Binder. They also offer 100% recycled pocket folders. If they are too plain for your little ones, you can always have them decorate the covers with crayons, paints, markers or stickers.
PVC-free binders made from recycled materials. Image: Naked Binder.
Recycled notebooks are also fairly easy to find, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, try notebooks made from Banana Paper by EcoPaper. They also have Coffee Paper, Mango Paper, Hemp Paper and Sugar Paper.
There are a wide variety of eco backpacks available, including those made from recycled PET, cotton or hemp. You can also get pencil cases, backpacks, lunch boxes, folders and more that are made from upcycled packaging by TerraCycle; they upcycle traditionally non-recyclable packaging like drink pouches and chip bags and turn them into unique school supplies. You can also get involved with TerraCycle’s program by collecting waste in your home, school and community. To get started, visit TerraCycle.com and create an account. Once you have filled a box with relevant waste, you download a pre-paid shipping label and send your box to them so they can turn your waste into cool products. “Since 2007, TerraCycle has kept 2.4 billion pieces of waste from ending up in landfills and paid almost $4.5 million dollars to schools and charities.”