10 Eco-Friendly School Supplies That'll Help Make This Year the Greenest Yet

Ready or not, back-to-school season is upon us. As kids get excited about walking the halls again, parents get them ready with the supplies they need to succeed. While parents may have been able to skip last year’s shopping spree, they’re more ready than ever to make sure their child is prepared for the classroom, even if that means doing things a little differently this year. We all know the school supplies aisle is packed with plastics, lead, glue and art supplies filled with questionable content. So, this year, instead of getting them the standard go-tos, get them eco-friendly school supplies that are healthy for both the environment and for kids.

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And if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we can help. Below, we’ve outlined our top ten favorite environmentally-friendly school supplies both you and your child will love. From a reusable water bottle to a recycled backpack, there’s something every child will enjoy. Plus, with these eco-friendly supplies, you’re doing your part by teaching your child the importance of creating a clean and waste-free planet.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Stanley is a SheKnows sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Reusable Water Bottle

It’s never too early to teach your child the importance of caring for the Earth. By encouraging your child to use a reusable water bottle such as the 20-ounce Stanley IceFlow™ Flip Straw Tumbler that’s partially made from recycled fishing net plastics, you and your child can help spare our waters from plastic waste. Plus, it will help them stay hydrated throughout the day, providing you with peace of mind that they have a hygienic means of getting their daily recommended water intake while at school. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Non-toxic Crayons

A recent study found that certain crayons tested positive for asbestos, which is recognized as a health hazard, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about exposing their children to hard chemicals and with Prang Crayons, they don’t have to. These crayons are made with soy, are AP-certified non-toxic and include pure pigments with no wax fillers so your child can experience a smooth laydown of brilliant colors. Plus, you don’t have to worry about their safety.

Recycled Erasers

This three-pack of assorted erasers is just what your child needs to be on their A-game in school. And the best part about these is that because they are made of recycled rubber, they’re environmentally friendly as well. They also come in a paper sleeve for easy gripping. Even the blister card packaging is made of recycled material.

Eco-Friendly Binder

With a Samsill binder, you’ll have no problem being eco-friendly. These binders are the only ones on the market made with plant-based plastics. They are also USDA-certified and composed of at least 59 percent bio-based material including a polypropylene cover that’s made with 25 percent plant-based renewable plastic. Plus, the front of the ring binder is made with a strong, plant-based plastic cover and chipboard core for holding paper at home, school and the office

Reusable Lunchbox

One simple way to reduce waste is by replacing a single-use plastic bag for an alternative that’s reusable. The Bentgo Kids lunch box is a great option as it’s made of FDA food-grade materials without BPA, vinyl, lead, or PVC. It also comes in a cute, flamingo design and five practical compartments portioned perfectly for a child’s appetite.

Recycled Notebook

Help your child build a passion for the environment with the Mead We Mean Green Notebook. Their notes will stay protected behind 100-percent recycled covers, and clear on paper made from 100 percent recycled fiber and 40 percent post-consumer waste material. The notebook also comes with 90 double-sided and wide-ruled sheets for plenty of writing space.

Recycled Backpack

Made with fabric formulated from recycled plastic bottles, this cute and simple backpack is the perfect eco-friendly option for your child to wear at school. It’s also water-resistant, stain-resistant, and tear-resistant so they’ll have a bag that can keep up with them for years. Plus, for every United By Blue product purchased, the company removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through cleanups organized around the world.

Plantable Pencils

Plantable Sprout pencils are made from 100 percent eco-friendly material, and are lead-free and EN-71 safety certified. They are also the only original and patented seed pencils in the world. But what makes these pencils so great is that when your Sprout pencil is too short to be used, kids and parents can plant it and watch it blossom thanks to the small seed capsule at the tip of the pencil.

Canvas Pencil Case

Now that you have all of these eco-friendly school supplies, you’re going to need something to put them in (preferably in a material that’s good for the environment). This pencil pouch, made with canvas fabric, is the perfect option. It also comes in a variety of colors and includes space for 30-40 pens and other small stationery.

Metal-Free Stapler

This environmentally safe paper clinch makes it super easy to collate papers without metal, so you don’t have to worry about staples getting jammed or a child accidentally getting hurt from a rogue piece of metal. This product fastens up to five sheets of paper and because it doesn’t require staples, it’s always ready to use.

A version of this story was originally published in February 2013.

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