Here on the cusp of fall, parents around the country are preparing for a new school year. To help out, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite back-to-school supplies from certified Green Business Network (GBN) members that will make your star student the most sustainable kid in class.
1. Palila II Back Pack
The Palila II backpack from Naturally Playful ($34) is made from recycled bottles and is completely free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and AZO dyes. The backpack’s also has plenty of convenient pockets and ergonomic shoulder straps for comfort.
2. Recycled Index Cards
Stock up on Naturally Playful’s recycled index cards ($1.50/pack), made in the USA with 40 percent post consumer paper.
3. Post Consumer 3 Ring Binder
The two-inch post-consumer 3 ring binder ($12) from EcoPaper is recyclable, durable and resistant to spine tearing. Made with corrugated cardboard, this binder is perfect for keeping track of notes and assignments.
4. Safe Sporter Water Bottle
The pioneering Safe Sporter 16 oz. reusable water bottle ($16 on Lucky Vitamin) from Enviro Products is lead and Bisphenol A (BPA) free and dishwasher safe. The bottles come in a variety of six colors and can reduce the use of plastic ones which don’t last nearly as long.
5. Natural Vibrations--Tree Free Banana Paper Notebook
Eco Paper’s groovy Tree Free Banana Paper Notebook ($9) is made with a mixture of post consumer and agricultural waste and free of toxins and bleaches. The notebook includes 80 sheets for jotting down notes, ideas and more.
6. Beeswax and Soy Blend Crayons
These beeswax and soy crayons from Le Petit Matisse ($12) are designed with a handy hexagon shape to prevent them from rolling off the table. The 5-inch crayons come in six solid colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple and are perfect for art class.
7. Recycled Newspaper Pencils
Pencils—the heart and soul of the school year. These 100 percent plastic-free pencils ($6) from Life Without Plastic are made with recycled newspaper and are packed in recycled kraft paper.
8. Wool Insulated Natural Lunch Bag
This wool insulated lunch bag ($36), also from Life Without Plastic proves that plastic-free lunch boxes are possible. The bag is made with 100 percent unbleached certified organic cotton and it’s wool insulated design guarantees that food will stay cool and fresh.
9. Hand Sanitizer
For little hands that are busy and prone to germ exposure, a non-toxic hand sanitizer may be good to have throughout the school day. The Peppermint & Rosemary hand sanitizer from Truce ($5) is made with rubbing alcohol, vegetable glycerine, aromatherapeutic oils and aloe vera and is gentle on kids and adults.
10. Bees Wrap
For an eco-friendly way to pack lunch, take advantage of the back-to-school special at Bees Wrap and get two reusable sandwich wraps ($17). The wraps are made with beeswax-infused organic cotton and just need a quick wash to be ready the next day.
More tips to go green at school:
Even if your back-to-school prep doesn’t involve a lot of shopping, there are other actions you can take to promote sustainability in your school. Starting green student clubs, taking field trips to learn about your school’s surrounding environment, carpooling with neighbors, and organizing community clean ups sure ways to motivate students and faculty to go green.