Stop Adding To Plastic Waste: Check Out These 10 Back To School Supplies That Are Eco-Friendly
I feel as if I just wrote my summer bucket list blog post and yet here we are discussing back to school supplies! To all you parents out there who are ready to get your little ones back into school and routine – I totally hear you yet I am not quite ready to quit summer! This summer has been a bit rough for all of us finding the balance between doing too much and being overly exhausted or doing too little and hearing the dreaded “I’m BORED”!! I was feeling that all too familiar burn out and exhaustion towards the beginning of this summer so I decided to throw in the towel on many things and just BE! It was a pretty nice to not look at my to-do list for several weeks in a row and just try and soak in more of the everyday.
As I slowly begin to get back into the swing of things I have been thinking about the direction that I want to continue taking this blog in, something that has been on my mind all year long actually. I am feeling called to write more on eco friendly living – not as an expert but as someone who realizes the importance and is beginning the journey to living more conscious of my purchase decisions and how they effect the environment. I am hoping to share bits and pieces of this journey on the blog as I walk this path!
Back to school supplies has honestly always seemed fairly wasteful to me. Even when I was younger I did love buying new school supplies but then I would always feel a twinge when we would have this growing pile of used crayons, markers, colored pencils, notebooks and various other supplies that would eventually get thrown away to make way for the new. With my girls getting ready to go back to school I decided to come up with a list of supplies that you can feel a little better about purchasing. Many of these suggestions are plastic free or at the very least reduced plastic and all are either reusable, biodegradable or recyclable. I also tried to keep price in mind and only suggest things that I would buy as I know sometimes cost can be a deterrent in shopping away from the socially accepted norm.
I hope you enjoy the list and that you will consider taking green initiatives with me this coming year!
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Sprout Plantable Graphite Pencils (8 for $14.95)
Sure the cost is a little excessive for 8 pencils, but these are not any regular pencil! Not only are they 100% eco-friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable; but each pencil also hold a seed capsule at the end and when the pencil has reached the end of its usability simply plant it and watch it bloom! Plant selections include: Forget Me Not, Cherry Tomato, Red Flax, Basil, Thyme, Calendula, Coriander, and Sunflower
Onyx & Green 5” Scissors ($3.99)
With biodegradable handles made from corn plastic, these scissors are both high quality and environmentally friendly!
Onyx & Green 5 Pack Paper Dividers (5 for $2.49)
These paper dividers are just like the conventional ones but without the plastic and are made from recycled paper, but still has vibrant color tabs to keep everything in order!
Green Room Recycled Binders ($5.99 for 1 “ and $7.99 for 2”)
I purchased many of these made from 100% recycled paper and fiber binders mainly because of the super cute designs. They are very sturdy even without all the extra plastic! Some even feature a clip on the inside to turn the binder into a handy clipboard. These are exclusively sold at Target…. but who are we kidding, you’re going to be there anyways soon I’m sure LOL!
Aurora Recycled 3 Ring Binder – ½ “ – 3” ($3.29 - $7.86)
If you are looking for a more simple, and even more affordable recycled binder option I found these brown chipboard binders that have a high content of recycled material and can also be recycled themselves!
Bumkins Reusable Snack Bags (various sizes $6.95 - $8.95)
You can absolutely bet I will be stocking up on these for the girls for this year. Last year I honestly cringed at the amount of single use plastic bags we went through. I even bought the type that had recycled plastic but still…. So.much.waste! These bags are great for many reasons: they are reusable, you can wash them in the dishwasher or washing machine, constructed of a single layer of waterproof fabric so no mold growth, they can double as a pencil pouch, they come in many fun designs! I will getting the girls the Disney varieties but the have many other fun prints too!
Stainless Steel 3-Layer Bento Lunch Box ($21.88)
With 3 layers of food grade stainless steel, this lunch box will last many school years to come. With its lid lock system you can just throw this into your little one’s backpack without the worry of food spilling out. The 3 layer designs promotes the line of thinking of a lunch with a variety of healthy choices and also means no foods will touch each other for those picky eaters!
Easthill Big Capacity Pencil Case ($12.99)
This mult tiered pencil case is made of high quality fabric and will withstand many years of school wear and tear. With its many pockets, holders and pouches; it can hold up to 50 pens/pencils and other items! It can also be multi purpose and be used for travel on summer vacation!
L.L. Bean Original Book Pack ($36.95 *use code Kids20 for 20% off and free shipping through August 8, 2019)
So after looking long and hard for an “environmentally friendly backpack” I became discouraged. Most backpacks that fall into that category are both very expensive and do not come in kid friendly designs and I felt they would get bored of the backpack very easily and insist on a different one next year. I decided then that the next best thing would be to find a high quality backpack, geared towards kids, that would last for years and this search led me to the world famous L.L Bean backpack. The backpack is reasonably priced and hundreds upon hundreds of reviews and testimonials swear by its quality and longevity. With several prints and patterns to choose from, I plan to let the girls choose what they want with the explanation that this will be their backpack for several years to come!
Prang Soybean Blend Biodegradable Crayons (24 for $2.45)
Now I know suggesting something other than the smooth, rich colors of Crayola may make me a killjoy but just consider for a moment that these crayons are completely biodegradable, non-toxic, and made by the very reputable art supply company Prang! These will be my crayon pick from now on, how about you?