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Eco Friendly School Supplies

This year why not “go green” with environmentally friendly school supply choices. See if these ideas will fit in your backpack.

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Every school supply list included #2 pencils, so why not use the Papermate EarthWrite Recycled Pencils in your student’s school box? They are made from 100% recycled materials, from lead right down to the eraser.

Does your school list include red, black, or blue ink pens? Paper Mate Biodegradable Retractable Medium Point Ballpoint Pens are available in 4 Colored Ink, Black, Blue, and Red packs.

My daughter’s school supply list called for three boxes of crayons. Instead of turning to Crayola, why not try Soy crayons? Soy crayons are non-toxic and made from soybean oil.

Does your child need a journal for their reading, writing, and arithmetic classes? Oh pooh! Elephant Pooh, that is, offers odor free journals made from pulped and processed dung.

Kleen Earth scissors have black handles that are made from recycled plastic.

lunchbox

When asked for white glue, try an adhesive paste. Look for ones made of potato starch that work on paper and fabric.

Did you know there are recycled file and pocket folders available? Earth wise makes 100% recycled portfolio folders and report covers. You can also look for binders made from recycled computer circuit boards and recycled rubber, or binders made from 45 to 100% post-consumer waste plastic, as well as recycled cardboard.

It seems that there is never enough paper to go around at home or my daughter’s school. Did you know that using recycled paper made from post-consumer waste prevents used paper from going into the landfill? When purchasing paper this year, whether for the copy machine or your notebook, look for the higher recycled content. Encourage your children to use up the entire notebook, front and back of the pages, before going on to the next one.

Pack it all up in an eco-friendly backpack made by Terracycle from recycled materials, or a tote bag or backpack made of organic cotton.

crayon

Let’s go to lunch – with reusable sandwich bags such as Wrap-N-Mat (made with cotton) and non-PVC-vinyl–lined bags. Or you can take a laptop or bento box lunch. Not only are these eco-friendly choices, they also allow parents to make healthy and eco-friendly meal options for their children (hopefully with locally grown organic foods).

One of the hardest things about using environmentally friendly school supplies means it may take a little more effort. You can’t simply walk into a store and purchase all your supplies in one place. However, Amazon offers many of the products mentioned here and Wal-Mart, Target, Office Depot and Staples has the more common school supplies such as recycled paper journals, pens, and pencils.

But it’s not just about your school supplies. Start making decisions now about walking, car pooling, or riding the bus. Give the gas and the air a break, and avoid the long pickup lines at your child’s school.

One of the most important things you can do when preparing your child to go to school is to make eco friendly school supply choices whenever possible.

notebook

There are lots of items you can buy for your child at prices very close to what you are used to paying that are better for the environment and better for your child! Here’s a list to get you started:

Green Backpack

Many traditional backpacks are made from petroleum byproducts and pesticide treated cotton. When buying your child a new backpack for school, look for a backpack that has been made with recycled material, organic cotton, or hemp.

You can even find backpacks today that have been made from recycled plastic bottles – how cool is that?
Recycled Paper Products

backpack

This one goes without saying, but is easily overlooked. You can buy just about any paper product your child uses at school made from recycled content. This includes notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, 3-ring binders, etc. Look for the recycled sign on these items.

Last year, we decided to make the change to these Recycled Binders and if I’m being honest, my kids were a little wary at first. They didn’t like the fact that they were plain brown. However, that’s a problem that’s easily solved. All you have to do is turn your plain brown recycled binder into a craft project.

Kids can color or paint on their binder. You can also print coloring pages of their favorite television or movie characters from one of many free sites on the internet and then attach the colored picture to the binder. Get creative and they’ll have an eco friendly binder that they love.

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

water bottle

First of all, most plastic water bottles are made for one use and are then thrown away – adding an enormous amount of waste to our landfills each year. On top of that, there is a growing concern that some plastic water bottles contain something called Bisphenol A, which has been linked to things like breast cancer, uterine cancer, insulin rejection, and Type 2 diabetes. Making the switch to stainless steel water bottles is better for the environment and better for your kids – plus they come in really cool colors and styles! Your kids will love them and they’ll set a good example for other kids – so they’ll be eco friendly at school too.