This fall, send your child off to school with a guaranteed A+ in healthy, sustainable living. Buying recycled and natural school supplies is more affordable and simpler than ever with an increasing number of stores, including big ones such as Wal-Mart and Target, stocking green products.
All kinds of common school items have natural, nontoxic, or recycled alternatives. Make sure your child’s backpack is free of dangerous toxins such as PVC (shiny plastic is a giveaway—avoid it). Stay away from vinyl and stick to healthier, non-toxic plastics such as nylon, organic cotton, recycled materials such as plastic bottles, or all-natural options like hemp.
Avoid Disposables, Save Cash
Mechanical pencils, for example, can be used over and over again, reducing waste from the production and disposal of traditional wooden pencils. Be sure also to buy a reusable lunch box or bag and save on buying hundreds of brown paper bags.
Paper is a classic environmental culprit: its production leads to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. Luckily, it’s easy to find notebooks and loose-leaf paper that are entirely recycled. Similarly, classroom essentials such as pencils, binders, Post-It notes, scissors, paper clips, rulers and more can be purchased in recycled form. Read packaging carefully to find recycled products. And don`t forget to recycle when you`re finished with it!
Don’t stress about making sure every item in your child’s backpack is completely organic—just do what you can, and every little bit will make a difference. Shopping for green supplies with your kid is a great way to share environmental values and teach the importance of an eco-conscious lifestyle.