Greener School Supplies

It’s back to school time and we all know what that means, school supplies! That long list of school supplies can certainly feel daunting, wasteful and really plastic-ful, can’t it? But there are ways to combat the traditional way you buy school supplies. Today's post is all about how to be a more conscious back to school shopper with the help of our greener school supplies guide. Here are a list of practical and easy tips for greener school supplies. 

Buy smarter. 

We often default to thinking of school supplies as disposal, lasting for maybe a year, before we throw them out. The first step in green school supplies is to shift your mindset away from cheap and disposable to earth friendly and sustainable. Are there supplies that are still in good shape from last year? Use them! If not, this year, choose with the environment in mind. Here are a few simple ways to be a more conscious consumer: 

  • Buy traditional pencils instead of plastic mechanical ones
  • Try plastic free highlighters like these
  • Purchase cardboard binders instead of plastic ones
  • Choose 100% recycled paper and notebooks

Clear out the old. If you’ve outgrown your school supplies, don’t toss them in the trash, donate them instead. The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland welcomes all kinds of school type donations. Anything from paints to paper, stamps to stickers! Check out their website for a more comprehensive list of the items they accept.

Buy used. Buying used is a great way to save money. If you’re looking for something specific, check out the Depot for Creative Reuse while you’re dropping off your donations. Sites like Ebay, Craigslist or NextDoor are good resources for more expensive purchases items like calculators, textbooks and backpacks. 


Lunch greener

Plastic baggies, water bottles, disposable utensils and wasted food all come to mind when thinking about school lunches. But we can do better! School lunches are an easy way to green-ify school supplies. To start the school year prepared, stock up on a reusable lunch bag, a good water bottle and reusable snack bags, these and these are a couple we love. Items you can also consider: a metal tiffin, cloth napkins and reusable silverware. 

Advocate for change. Whether organizing a marker recycling program through Crayola or designing a zero waste classroom supply kit through Wisdom Supply Company, you can be the champion for green initiatives at your school. Look for companies that are trying to do their part for a healthier, happier planet and get involved!

Lastly, if you have any other green school supply ideas please leave us a comment, we’d love to hear them and share with others on our social media pages. 

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