I have a confession to make. I LOVE back-to-school shopping. One of the things I looked forward to the most when I became a mother was that I would once again be able to shop for school supplies. It was such a wonderful time for me as a kid – carefully choosing the best pencil cases and notebooks that were so pretty and new – I loved it. Now that my daughter is starting Kindergarten, I get to start thinking about school supplies again – except that now I am a lot more conscious about what they contain. Since I’m doing the research, I’m going to share how to find eco-friendly school supplies.
Toxin-free backpacks do not contain harmful chemicals like BPA, Leads, Phthalates, or PVC (which ARE in those tantalizing $15 backpacks you see at Wal-Mart. I know. They are so tempting when they have all of your kids’ favourite characters on them!! I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!). BabyJoy.ca based out of Toronto, ON has a selection of toxin-free backpacks from brands like Beatrix NY, Little Life, Green Sprouts. (Super cute ones for toddlers and preschoolers!) Check my post here for 5 other eco-friendly backpack options!
Lunchbags can contain the same toxins as backpacks, so look out for labels that state that they are without BPA, lead, phthalates and PVC. (The brands above have matching toxin-free lunchbag counterparts.)
I’m a fan of food containers that are not made of plastic, as you probably already know. There are great stainless steel, glass, and silicone options out there now, both for food and beverages.
I have a Life Factory glass water bottle with a silicone sleeve and I love it.
I have these stainless steel Kids Konserve containers and love how lightweight they are. The ones with plastic lids are a #4 safer plastic (check here for decoding plastic codes).
LunchBots have stainless steel bento-style lunchboxes.
There are lots of great and fun stainless steel water bottles out there! LAMOSE ones are my absolute favourite because they are completely plastic free.
Reusable snack bags are a safe and eco-friendly alternative to ziplock bags.
I have a few of these Colibri snack bags that are PVC, phthalate, and lead free with nickel free zippers.
Lunchskins bags are BPA, lead, and phthlate free.
Yummi Pouch bags are also BPA, lead, PVC and phthlate free.
And don’t forget about utensils!
Check out more litterless lunch options in my post here!
Get notebooks made from recycled paper (100% post-consumer waste is the most eco-friendly) or sugarcane, and for bonus points – chlorine-free and soy ink printed.
Pens made from recycled plastic and recycled water bottles are now widely available.
And pencils made from recycled materials too – I love the ones made from newspapers!
There are pencil cases made from recycled materials too! Hurrah!
There really are more sustainable options for any school supplies you need – you just need to look at what’s out there!
What are your favourite eco-friendly school supplies?
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