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Guide to Eco-Friendly Back to School Supplies

written by: Nichole Bolton•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 5/20/2011

Its time for back to School shopping, this year think green. Here is a few ideas to get you started. Send your kids to school with Green Style!!

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    Why Eco-Friendly?

    Well it is that time of year again, back to school shopping is here. And if you are anything like me, you have more than one little student to shop for. This time of the year is always a little bittersweet. I have one starting kindergarten and four others in various grades. This year I wanted to take the initiative and set an example for my children. We are going Green this year. One small contribution we can all make, and its easy, and something we all have to do, buy school supplies!

    Going Green is something everyone hears about on a daily basis, but not everyone realizes how easy it is to shop with a little more heart, and buy things that are earth friendly. There are so many new ways out there, many resources, stores, and websites for online shopping that make our lives alittle easier, and many of those stores specialize in earth friendly and economical merchandise.. for example, school supplies.

    After doing some much needed research and some online shopping of my own I have come up with a few places for you to check out. With that said, here a few ideas I have come up with, and if your kids are into the spirit of shopping eco-friendly or for the younger kids, turn it into something fun for you to do together. Maybe a scavenger hunt? Here are just a few things that are eco-friendly, that is sure to be on your childs school supply list.

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    Eco-Friendly Back to School Shopping List

    • Notebooks are always at the top of the list- Which obviously is something that will not be too hard to find, or too hard to go with recycled paper.. I think this is probably the easiest of your hurdles for the day.
    • I don't know how many of you are going to have staplers on their school list, but I found this great nifty tool, and really it makes sense. This is a staple free stapler. Something that is safe for kids to use as well. No more pulling out staples that are just going to be pitched anyway right? This simple little gadget can be found online through various online stores, also most retailers carry them now as well.
    • There are a few of the more challenging things like the pens and pencils our kids have to have. And because we all know our kids do not want the same old pencils, and pens as the kid sitting next to them right they have to have the newest and coolest of everything...and now we can make it green to! Here is a pencil that is cased in cedar scented incense.. talk about something cool! A pencil that is scented? I found this particular item at they have several affordable and eco-friendly pencils to choose from. And most importantly, gentle on the pocketbook. If your child is looking for something a little more unique how about pencils made and designed with recycles blue jeans?
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    More Ways to Make it a Greener Year

    So we have taken a look at a few of the different school supplies that are likely to be on your child's school list. Now I am going to take a look at a few other things, that your child may use for school.

    Lunch Boxes & Bags

    This year if you are the type of mom who likes to make home made lunches for your child then it will be important to avoid products with PVC (plastics). There are several different options out there like a Basura bag. These are made from recycled products, mostly old juice boxes. How ingenious is that? For more information on these check out

    If something with a little retro style is more what you are looking for then you can not go wrong with the Classic lunch box? There are some great, and very cute stainless steel lunchboxes out there, that are a lot of fun too. This gives your kids the chance to be imaginative, and pick out the lunchbox they want! I remember how much fun it was picking out my lunchbox and backpack when I was a kid and it gives your kids a chance to express themselves to. For online shopping check out


    So we have a few supplies, a lunch box and we are having lots of fun with our kids in the process right? Well now that we have all these things what are they going to carry them in? My favorite part, the backpack. Let me recommend going with a hemp backpack. This is the part that seemed "crucial" to me as a kid. Its all about the backpack. I am adding a few websites here that I have found that offer some really nice designer, and cute eco-friendly backpacks. You can also find these at most retailers, just look to see what materials were used. But for those shopping online or wanting to get some ideas, check out these websites. ;

    I hope this has given you some ideas for shopping for your school supplies with a little more thought to the environment. It really is simple and does not have to be any extra work to find eco-friendly back to school gear, nor it it just for "tree huggers". Tthis is something we all need to take seriuosly, but at least we can have some fun doing it, and do it with style! All while sending our kids off to school prepared to learn and grow as individuals. Shopping green just sets the stage for our little ones to have a safe and wonderful place to live, and use all that knowledge they are absorbing at school. So set the example and buy your school supplies with eco friendly materials!