Eco-Friendly Back-To-School Supplies
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September is here and that means parents and children can be found filling store aisles with their classroom supply list in hand ready to gear up for a new school year. Depending on what grade your child is in, their back-to-school supply list can range from a few supplies to an extensive list. Did you know that many companies carry eco-friendly supplies? Get an early start on teaching your kids the value of using environmentally-safe products. Here are some earth-friendly supplies we found around the web with the help of the Huffingtonpost.com and EcoFabulous.
Pens and Pencils: Popular pen manufacturer — Paper Mate — has an entire line of recycled writing instruments. According to their website, Paper Mate Write Bros. pens are made of 80 percent recycled materials, Flex Grip Ultra pens are made of 55 percent recycled materials, Earth Write wooden case pencils are made of 100% recycled cedar wood, and Dry Line Grip Correction Tape is made of 67 percent recycled materials. Other brands that offer eco-friendly writing instruments include Pilot, Grassrootsstore.com, and ForestChoice.
Binders: Binders are a must-have for all students trying to corral their paperwork. While most binders are made of plastic and vinyl, many companies now offer binders made from green materials. NakedBinder.com, for example, makes a 100 percent recycled and recyclable binder made from FSC-approved, post-consumer waste board. Post-consumer waste is recycled paper, newspapers, cardboard, magazines, etc.; no trees are used.
Paper Clips: These tiny metal paper holders can be found in virtually every classroom and desk across the country. These utilitarian essentials are available in 100 percent recycled metal; find them in one of the many popular office supply stores.
Lunch Carrier: Ensuring your child eats a healthy lunch is important to their concentration and learning. What your child carries his or her lunch in is just as important—for the environment. Look for 100 percent organic cotton or canvas lunch bags or sacks made with no plastic. These backs can be washed and dried for years of use. Need a food storage bag to keep sandwiches fresh? Reusable containers are always best, but many brands such as PrideGreen now make food storage bags using green recycled plastics that fully breakdown in landfills.
Stainless Containers: Looking for an alternative to all those plastic storage containers you have? KidsKonserve.com offers non-toxic, BPA-free, lead-free, PVC-free, stainless steel containers. Best yet: they’re stackable.
Water Bottles: To help keep your child hydrated, ditch all those plastic bottles and invest in a reusable, recycled, and recyclable water bottle. Look for ones with a built-in water filtration system to remove harmful contaminants from the water.
Back Pack: It’s one of the first things kids want to buy before heading off to school—a new back pack. Instead of reaching for a back pack made from vinyl, rubber, and plastic try one made from 100 percent canvas or cotton. Is your child never without his or her electronic gadgets? Voltaic.com offers a solar back pack with 3.4 watts of power to charge many handheld devices while they’re safely tucked away inside the back pack. No wasting electricity!
Eco-friendly Glue and Crayons: No pre-K or kindergarten art project would be complete without crayons and glue. When shopping for glue look for one made using natural ingredients such as rice flour, water, sugar, citric acid, corn starch, and rosemary oil. Look for crayons made from soy that are 100 percent biodegradable.
Staple-Free Staplers: no staples, means no unnecessary metal waste — and no sharp edges.
Greener Tape: Before reaching for your regular tape to post your children’s artwork, try Scotch Brand’s Magic Greener Tape. It’s made from 53 percent plant-based materials and the packaging is made from 100 percent recycled plastic, paper, and cardboard.
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