4 Ideas on Sustainable Back to School Shopping

It’s the time of year for those three words that every child hates and every parent loves: Back to School. This can be a hectic time for both kids and adults, as the kids are worrying about their new teachers, classmates, and the latest trends, while the parents are worrying about making sure their kid is prepared to excel at their education as best as possible. But as the climate strike movement has shown, the kids nowadays know that their future depends on the sustainable choices we make today. In this spirit, here are four Back to School shopping tips to keep sustainability in mind.

Second Hand Clothes

First up is to make sure you’re buying second hand clothing. While second-hand shopping may have once been known for essentials only, luckily the world is getting smarter, and so second-hand store catering to the style-minded individual like New York’s own L Train vintage are opening up. Second-hand shopping is on trend both for its looks and for its environmental impact, and it’s also very easy on the wallet. While we recommend that adults shop for more expensive pieces that’ll last a long time, kids unfortunately grow out of their clothes too quickly for that, and so second-hand shopping combines the low-price point of fast fashion with the environmentally conscious focus of the eco-friendly fashion boutiques. 

Lunch Box

Next up is the lunch box. School lunches are both notoriously unhealthy and often make use of disposables, and so packing lunches solves two problems at once. Brands like ECOlunchboxes can provide plastic free lunchboxes and bags with fun, kidfriendly designs. Add in a cloth napkin, a reusable water bottle, and some utensils from home and you have a perfect reusable kit. If you want to get a little more fancy, you can also look at this Wool Lunchbox from Life Without Plastic or a Stainless Steel bento box from Mighty Nest. 

Pen, Notebook, and Paper

  Now things start to get a little trickier, but rest assured there are eco-friendly alternatives for everything these days. For paper, we discovered the brand Ecopaper, where you can find printer friendly paper made from mixing organic bi-product from banana plantations with post-consumer recycled pulp, without the use of chlorine to bleach it. They also carry notebooks from the same materials. A perennial favorite of ours, Package Free Shop, will have you covered for recycled folders and binders. A super neat idea for pencils are Sprout Plantable Pencils, which as the name suggests, can be literally planted when you’re done with it, with options for flowers or herbs. Finally, did you know that reusable pens exist? The world is so flooded with crappy single-use pens that we forget that it’s pretty easy to buy a refillable pen, saving countless old pens from ending up in the garbage while also getting rid of the annoying “is this pen working” problem.

Backpack and Pencil cases

Finally we get to backpacks and pencil cases. For pencil cases we recommend KarenzaCo and Boshiho, who make recycled cotton canvas and cork pencil cases, respectively. For backpacks, Rust and Fray has a couple options for Upcycled backpacks, including The Encore for a large sized Upcycled Leather backpack and The Rave for a smaller cotton upcycled backpack, both of which are 50% off.

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this article. What are some of your favorite eco-friendly back to school shopping finds? Let us know in the comments! As a special thank you, readers of this article can get a discount with the code Reader15. And if you liked our article, be sure to follow our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more. 

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