Eco-Friendly School Supplies: Getting Ready For School

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Buying supplies for a new school year is always exciting for both kids and parents. But it can also be stressful, especially if you’re trying to stay sustainable and buy only eco-friendly items.

That’s where we come in, with this guide to the best eco-friendly school supplies you can buy. There’s everything from plant-based glue to plantable pencils, so read on to see the best sustainable school supplies!

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Eco-Friendly Backpack

Osprey Arcane Small Laptop Backpack, Haybale Green

Let’s start with the basics – you’ll need an eco-friendly bag to put all the eco-friendly supplies in! Look for a backpack that’s just the right size to fit everything you carry to school every day, just make sure that it’s made from recycled materials.

The backpack featured here is Osprey Arcane. It is made from recycled polyester and it took 7.8 plastic bottles to manufacture this backpack. It’s certainly an option worth considering, but the small capacity might not be a great fit for everyone. In any case, it’s certainly not the only eco-friendly backpack worth checking out.

The Arcane has a spacious main compartment, a dedicated laptop sleeve, and multiple pockets and organizers for the small stuff. It’s comfortable to wear and it features anti-theft security hooks on the shoulder straps.


Plantable Sprout Pencils

Sprout Wood-Cased Pencils | Original Edition | HB Pre-Sharpened Graphite Plantable Wooden Pencils with Flower, Herb & Vegetable Seeds |Gift Ideal for Drawing, Sketching & Shading | 8 Pack

Sprout Pencils are biodegradable graphite pencils that you can plant once you’re done with them. They are lead-free, non-toxic, and made from 100% eco-friendly material. When it comes to sustainable pencils, it doesn’t get much better than Sprout pencils!

You can use them just like you would normal pencils, and when they’re near the end you just plant them. The green tip of the pencil is where the seed is stored, so that’s pretty much the only part of the pencil you can’t use.

Also, each pencil has a different seed it in and the type of seed is engraved into the pencil, so you’ll know what you’re planting. The seeds can be anything from daises to thyme, and if you use these long enough, you’ll eventually have a pretty nice garden!


Paperage Recycled Lined Notebook

PAPERAGE Recycled Lined Journal Notebook, (Kraft Natural Brown), 160 Pages, Medium 5.7 inches x 8 inches - 100 gsm Thick Paper, Hardcover

The Paperage Lined Notebook is a must-have for all students. It’s made from recycled materials and the notebook can be recycled again once you are done with it. It has 160 pages that are just the right thickness so your pens won’t bleed.

All the pages are lined for precise writing, so it’s perfect for taking notes in class. Also, the notebook features an expandable inner pocket and some stickers to help you personalize it! It lays flat when opened for easy writing and it features a convenient bookmark for marking certain pages.

The recycled notebook is available in seven different colors, so there are options for everyone. The only downside is that it’s pricier than basic notebooks, and the costs are going to stack up if you need one of these for each class. But considering how sustainable and responsible the purchases would be, I’d say they’re entirely worth it.


Plus Paper Clinch

Plus 31250 Paper Clinch, Glossy White

The Plus Paper Clinch is a staple-free stapler. It’s available in two sizes – the smaller one works for up to five sheets of paper, while the bigger one can staple up to 10 sheets together. It’s intuitive to use and it requires minimal force, making it perfect for students!

The device applies pressure to the sheets of paper and it creates a small hole in them. It keeps them together by folding a small piece of paper flat, and it’s just as effective as a proper stapler. The only issue is that you are limited by the number of papers you can staple together.

On the other hand, you can never run out of staples again if you’re using the Plus Paper Clinch. Also, using this instead of a proper stapler makes recycling so much easier, since you no longer have to ruin your nails prying the staples out of the paper.


Office Depot Recycled Highlighters

Office Depot 100% Recycled Pen-Style Highlighters, Assorted, Pack Of 6, HY1002-6AST

Highlighters are essential for study sessions and the good news is that you can ditch your old highlighters in favor of some eco-friendlier options. The Office Depot highlighters feature barrels that are made from 100% recycled plastic, which is pretty amazing.

The highlighters boast a slim design, but they’re comfortable to hold even during marathon study sessions. The chisel tip is precise and dispenses ink evenly, so you can easily highlight only the parts that matter. The ink won’t leak on the back of the page, and it’s bright enough that you can easily read the text behind it.

This is a pack of six brightly colored highlighters that will last you quite some time. They’re also very affordable at less than $1 per highlighter!


Onyx and Green 24 Pack of Colored Pencils

Onyx and Green 24 Pack of Colored Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, Made from Recycled Newspaper (8002)

The Onyx and Green colored pencils are made from recycled newspaper and they’re a great eco-friendly alternative to basic coloring pencils. This is a pack of 24 pencils and they’re all pre-sharpened.

The colored pencils are good – the pigment quality is questionable, but that’s more of an issue for artists and people who usually use high-end coloring pencils. For simple things like schoolwork and occasional drawing, these are more than up to the task.


Onyx and Green 3-Pack Erasers

Onyx and Green 3-Pack Erasers with Sleeve, Recycled Rubber (2202)

The Onyx and Green erasers are made from recycled rubber and they’re eco-friendly supplies everyone needs! They’re just as good as standard erasers, so really there’s no reason not to buy them. The erasers even come in eco-friendly sleeves for improved grip.

They come in packs of three, which should be enough to get you through the entire school year, as long as you don’t misplace all three. Also, they’re made from colored rubber, so they’re much more interesting than plain white erasers.

The only downside of the recycled rubber erasers is that they’re packaged in unnecessary plastic. However, this is an issue that sometimes happens with Onyx and Green – for a brand that makes so many sustainable and eco-friendly products, they sure could cut down on using plastic packaging.


Onyx and Green Non-Toxic Glue Sticks

Onyx+ Green Glue Sticks, Plant Base, Non-Toxic, Pack of 2

Onyx and Green even make sustainable glue sticks! The glue is plant-based and mostly made from sugar, while the tubes are made from recycled materials. On top of that, the glue sticks are packaged in eco-friendly cardboard, making these glue sticks some of the eco-friendliest school supplies you can buy!

The best thing about eco-friendly glue is that it’s entirely safe for children. They could eat an entire glue stick without any major consequences! The non-toxic glue is also washable and can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Each stick contains 22 grams of glue, so they should last quite a while. It’s worth noting that this sugar-based glue is only good for paper, decorations, and school projects. It’s not very strong, so don’t expect it to perform as well as the really toxic glue does.


Thermoflask Insulated Water Bottle

ThermoFlask 24 oz Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Spout and Straw Lids, White

Single-use plastics are incredibly bad for the environment and it’s important to teach kids not to use them from a young age. That’s why one of the must-have have eco-friendly school supplies is a stainless steel water bottle. It’s BPA-free, it doesn’t rust, and it does a great job at maintaining drink temperature.

Get an insulated water bottle and you’ll never have to purchase a plastic water bottle again. It’s great for the environment, it saves money, and it just feels better to drink water out of a proper lid!


Honeysticks Pure Beeswax Crayons

Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons (12 Pack) - Non-Toxic Crayons, Safe for Babies and Toddlers, For 1 Year Plus, Handmade in New Zealand with Natural Beeswax and Food-Grade Colors, Eco-Friendly.

Crayons are usually made with paraffin wax and colors with chemical dyes. There are several eco-friendly alternatives out there and one of those options is the Honeysticks Pure Beeswax Crayons. They are made 100% from beeswax and colored with food-grade pigments, so they are entirely safe for kids. A pack features 12 crayons and they all smell very nice.

Also, these crayons are much shorter and thicker than usual, which makes it easier for tiny hands to hold them. They are available in thinner and longer variants, but these chubby ones were designed specifically for small children.