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Eco-friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

Welcome back to the blog everyone! Today we are super excited to have a guest contributor by the name of Alexandria Winner (from Ecoist) to share her advice on eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies. My school days may be over, but I need all the help I can get with my two children heading off to school in the near future! I love the thought of carefully choosing each and every school supply piece, with not only my children in mind, but with mother earth and the future state of our world in mind.

Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

 

The typical American school uses about 250,000 pieces of paper per year.

This equates to over 35 Billion sheets of paper JUST in the K-12 schools in the United States.

When you add in the school supplies that the children and teens are bringing into their classrooms, these numbers can easily be multiplied by well over 56 million – which is the number of children and teenagers in school this year according to the National Centre for Education Statistics. And this is “just” paper that we are talking about here, folks. Don’t even get me started on the plastic situation. The numbers are staggering and changes need to be made.

If you are looking to fill those school backpacks with responsible, well-made, eco-friendly, and zero waste items, then you have come to the right place!

 

psst….Short on Time?

Here are the quick links for our list of Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies:

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Pens & Pencils

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Before ordering a bunch of pens and pencils for school, take a look around your house in your drawers and pen cups to see if you have a bunch of old ones lying around. Who doesn’t, right?! Use those first.

Once those are all used up, then choose one of the many eco-friendly options:

  • OHTO/JPT Pencil/Ball Pen
    • Natural Wood Pencil Ball Pen – 1.0mm
  • OHTO/JPT Stainless Steel & Ceramic Roller Ball Pen
    • Stainless steel pen with a ceramic roller ball, 0.5mm
  • Sprout World Plantable Pencils
    • The plantable Sprout pencils can grow into plants like luscious flowers, fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables once they’re too short to use.
  • Recycled Newspaper Pencils
    • These exquisite pencils are made from old newspapers and not from cut trees. Newspaper is tightly rolled over graphite. The high-quality graphite is strong and does not break when sharpening. A regular sharpener can be used with these pencils. It’s cool to see shavings of newspaper when sharpening!

The Accessories for your Pens & Pencils

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Crayons & Markers

Eco-Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies-4

Whether you are shopping for the first days of kindergarten or high school, everyone is going to need some color in their lives!

Here is our list of eco-friendly crayons & markers!

  • Vegan & Toxic Free Butterfly Crayons
    • These beautiful butterflies are the larger of our crayon shapes, but still perfectly sized and textured for little hands. Handmade in the UK from Soy wax, carnauba wax, cocoa butter and coloured with natural occurring earth pigments they are suitable for veggies and vegans too (Crayola and other many other crayons contain beef tallow).
  • Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Crayons
      • The STABILO woody 3 in 1 is perfect for kids to draw and paint and ideal for parents too – it washes off windows and is suitable for many surfaces besides just paper or cardboard.
  • Eco-Friendly Recycled Permanent Markers
    • The tubes of these earth-friendly permanent markers are made with recycled paper, reducing the use of plastic by 60%. The markers feature polyester fiber tips that are filled with non-toxic, alcohol-based ink and contain NO Xylene, Toluene, or other VOCs.
  • Eco Text Marker Highlighter
    • The stock consists mainly of the renewable raw material sugarcane. The bright color is water-based, solvent-free and odorless.
  • Eco White Board Markers
    • Ethanol-based ink, free from aromatic or chlorinated solvents. Marker body made from Recycled Paper & wax instead of aluminium or plastic.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: All the Paper

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Even with the digital world that we live in, paper use in schools is still quite high, especially for the little ones. Choosing 100% recycled paper is a wonderful way to help support Mother Nature while also teaching valuable lessons to our children. Each time they see the recycled paper stamp, you will have left a little stamp of inspiration for their future choices.

Here is our list of eco-friendly paper products!

  • A5 Handcrafted Stapled Recycled Notebooks
    • The covers are made from reclaimed and recycled materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Since each book is personalised, you can pick what type of material your cover can be made from cardboard to PVC.
  • PrintWorks 100% Recycled Copy Paper
    • 100 percent post-consumer recycled printer and copier paper for everyday use at an affordable price
    • Made in the USA from recycled food and beverage containers and other paper-based printed materials
  • Natural & Recycled Drawing Paper
    • Natural Recycled 9″ x 12″ Drawing Paper – 500 Sheets. Crayons, pencils, markers and paints show up brilliantly on this natural unbleached paper.
  • 2-pocket Notebooks by Naked Binder
    • These Folders are sustainable eco-friendly folders made from 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer waste 22-pt. chipboard.
  • 3-Ring Binder by Naked Binder
    • EXTREMELY DURABLE. Made with one solid piece of heavy-duty binders board. The hinge has been tested (opened and closed) 250,000 times and it did not fall apart!
  • Handcrafted A5 Weekly Planner
    • cream 100 % recycled paper (Clairfontaine)
    • 80 gsm plain recycled boards with printed monstera leaves
  • Naked Binder 3-Ring Tab Dividers
    • 100% post-consumer fiber, and FSC certified Neenah Conservation Paper. 100% recyclable.
  • Yamama Memo Pads
    • Four Side Colored Memo Pad.  180 sheets
  • Yamama Metallic Sticky Notes
    • Metallic Sticky Notes. 33 sheets

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Accessories

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

All those little accessories add up, don’t they? I gotta tell ya, I have no idea where all those paper clips, staplers, staples, scissors, etc ended up. Well….I think I do…they all ended up in the trash. So, let’s try our best to fix that!

Here is our list of eco-friendly accessories

  • Yamama Bamboo Paper Clips
    • These innovative bamboo paper clips project positive impressions for all of your presentations. And they are beyond eco-friendly, they’re 100% work-friendly!
  • Onyx & Green Scissors
    • These 5″/127 mm scissors have stainless steel blades and a rounded tip. The handles are made from corn plastic.
  • Staple Free Stapler
    • Easy to shred and recycle papers without the worry of staples getting jammed. Without staples just drop in the shredder or recycle bin. It’s environmentally safe.
  • Midori Storage Boxes
    • 11″x7″x5″ ht.  100% Recycled Paper Storage Container
  • Cork Desk Organizer
    • This desk organizer is a simple zero waste product.  It is made of cork and designed to hold cell phones, pens and note pads.
  • Vegan Recycled Felt MacBook Sleeve
    • The colorful felt is made of multi-color fabric. The waste textiles have been cut into tiny pieces and then transformed into a new fabric – colorful felt from recycled textiles.
    • The felt made of vegan fabric is non toxic, health and environmentally friendly (European Union REACH Certificate of Compliance).
  • Cell Phone Covers by Pela Case
    • COMPOSTABLE PHONE CASE: Pela cases are made of a combination of flax straw ‘waste’, plant-based biopolymers and contain organic ingredients that meet rigorous standards for compostability in municipal and industrial composting facilities.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Backpacks

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

What better way to finish off the school supplies guide than with the amazing bags to hold all your goodies?! Here are a few of our favorite environmentally friendly backpack options. Just remember, there is nothing more sustainable than what you already own. If you already have a backpack, please use it!

Here is our list of eco-friendly backpacks

  • TerraThread Backpacks $
    • The Earth Backpacks are made using heavy-duty 14 oz organic cotton canvas. These fairtrade backpacks are spacious and feature one large exterior pocket, one small interior pocket, and a laptop compartment. The organic backpacks can be used for school, outdoor activities, traveling, and more!
      Each purchase of this backpack contributes 20 MEALS to children, families, and seniors in need in the United States through Feeding America.

      • Made with 100% Organic and Fairtrade Cotton
      • Processed and Manufactured per Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
      • Color dyed using low impact GOTS Certified Dyes
      • Manufactured at a Fair Trade Certified Factory
      • Hang Tags are made using recycled kraft paper
  • United By Blue Backpacks $$
    • 100% recycled polyester with water repellent finish
    • Padded laptop sleeve accommodates up to 17″ laptop
    • Interior zippered pocket and open pockets
    • Exterior flap pocket with magnetic closure, zipper pockets and side pocket
    • Adjustable, padded shoulder straps, haul strap and cross sternum strap
    • Water bottle sleeve fits bottles with a diameter up to 3.75″
    • Equipped with a Lifetime Guarantee
  • Kathmandu Backpacks $$$ (Children to Adult Options)
    • When it’s time for your kid’s first pack or to upgrade their current one, the Cotinga Kids’ Pack will be a welcome surprise. With an ergonomic harness and sizing to specifically fit kids, your growing child won’t want to remove it. There’s also a spacious front area for lunches – because books and bananas don’t mix. Made with 15 recycled plastic bottles.
    • Outer fabric contains REPREVE™ – polyester created from recycled plastic bottles
    • kidsFIT technology – an ergonomic harness with adjustable shoulder straps
    • Elasticated sleeve in the main compartment – for your kid’s books or portable device
    • Grab handle and reflective detail for safety

 

Use what you already have!

After all of our research and digging, I was so shocked by just how many companies are in support of sustainable school supplies. This is such great news!

Like we always say here at WonderMamas, please use what you already have first. Even if you have a drawer full of plastic supplies, I beg you to use those first before buying anything new. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford the pieces listed above, please check out your local second hand stores, second hand online shops, or even second hand swaps. Join facebook groups in your area for second hand school supplies, yes they exist!

In the end, being a conscious consumer is so much more than buying the latest and greatest eco products. The first step is to evaluate what you got, extend its life, and then replace when necessary. I am so honoured that you have chosen us to help you on this journey. Have a beautiful school year!

 

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

Zero Waste Bathroom Products

Our Real Life Imperfect Zero Waste Home

7 Ways Parents Can Save the Earth From Home

What A Zero Waste Home Actually Looks Like

 

  1. I love this! I wish I had these products back when I was in school. So important to be eco-conscience

    -Juliana / onlytrulyjuli.wordpress.com

  2. Thank you for sharing. I have been striving a low-waste lifestyle for about a year now and it can still be difficult especially now during pandemic.

  3. I love this article so much! It is very detailed! I would definitely check those products out! Road to a zero waste school life! <3

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