Back to school in eco-style

summer is nearly over (how does it always whiz past so quickly?), and the back-to-school shopping season is here! this year, back to school spending is expected to collectively total around 83.6 billion dollars. that statistic got us thinking: what sort of an impact would it have if we made a few “swaps” for more eco-friendly school supplies as we tick items off the list this year? wouldn’t it be awesome to buy these products from brands that reduce waste, are kind to the earth, and have good core ethics?

it might not be possible to find a greener substitution for every item on your child’s back to school shopping list. but why not try swapping out at least a few? at stasher, we’ve got your back with plastic free snacking and lunch-packing options. our always-expanding range of colorful and kid approved stasher bags will last you all school year and beyond! but what about all the other essential backpack items? we did our research to bring you this short list of our favorite eco-friendly school supplies:  

  1. binder $4.49, rebinder
    these binders may be a little plain, but arm your kids with paints or markers and they’ll become custom, one-of-a-kind creations! rebinder products are made in the usa, using 70% recycled corrugated cardboard (with at least 40% post-consumer recycled materials).
  2. sprout pencil colored pencil set $16.99
    when your kid is finished with these colored pencils, plant the pencil stubs and watch herbs, flowers, and more appear! sprout pencils are made in the usa with sustainably sourced wood, and are designed with a special capsule that holds non-gmo seeds!
  3. eraser sticks $12.30 4/pk
    most cheap erasers are made from a synthetic, petroleum based material. for a sustainable switch, look for erasers that are still made from natural rubber, like these cool eraser sticks sculpted from recycled rubber and recycled bamboo (both biodegradable materials).
  4. bamboo ruler $4.00 bambu home
    this cool, sustainable bamboo ruler pulls double-duty with a handy conversion chart on one side and a ruler on the other! another simple and affordable switch to stay away from plastic.
  5. banana paper binder filler paper $1.75 green apple supply
    recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees!   banana paper is manufactured in costa rica, and is made with 80% post-consumer waste paper mixed with 20% banana leaf fibers. even the inks used on each piece of paper are water-based and earth-kind. you can purchase this binder filler paper in both wide rule and college rule!
  6. stainless steel lunchbox $55.95 planet box
    opt for a long-lasting stainless steel lunchbox rather than a plastic one! not sure your kid will go for a plain metal lunchbox when all the other kids have hello kitty or batman? pick up a few sets of magnets to brighten it up with a variety of fun themes.
  7. backpack $39.99 the ultimate green store
    we love these backpacks made from recycled pet bottles! it’s equipped with plenty of pockets (including a padded one for a laptop or ipad), dyed with non-toxic pigments, and keeps single-use plastic diverted from landfills.
  8. seven year pen $8.95 seltzer goods
    a pen that lasts seven years sounds too good to be true, but eco-conscious consumers swear by these specially designed (and super cute) pens that will last your kid all the way through middle school and high school! be sure to choose a bright color that’s not easily lost.
  9. bamboo utensil set $12.95
    never pack a plastic utensil again! these bamboo utensils are dishwasher safe, and are neatly packaged in a carry-along case made from recycled water bottles.
  10. recycled newspaper “treeless pencils” $9.99 the ultimate green store
    did you know that recycled newspapers can be used to make pencils? it turns out that tightly rolling strips of “old news” results in a writing utensil that’s sturdy and easy to sharpen. we think these pencils are a great way to save a tree or two!
  11. recycled paper folders $11.95 25/pk
    these folders are made with 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. stock up with a bulk pack for everyone in your family to share!
  12. reusable sandwich+ snack bags $9.99-$11.99
    use ‘em for snacks, use ‘em for lunches, use ‘em to hold art supplies- the possibilities are endless! the world’s only completely plastic-free, reusable storage bag is better for your health and for the planet. one stasher bag can replace thousands of disposable baggies!
  13. highlighter set $11.95
    eco-friendly markers and highlighters are tough to find- still, you can make your kid’s backpack just a little easier on the environment by choosing a long-lasting set, like these, meaning less dried-out and used-up markers will get thrown out over time.

this post was written by our friend hannah theisen, editor of life+style+justice, founder of a beautiful refuge and a member of the ethical blogger network. connect with hannah on instagram

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