Back to school doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on new school supplies and clothing. In fact, it isn’t too hard to green your back to school experience! With these simple 5 steps you can choose eco-friendly school supplies, save money and make everyone in the house happy!

1.  Shop eBay or eBay Classifieds. All this week (August 2nd-August 6th 2010) on eBay they’re having a Back toSchool Blowout with deep discounts of up to 80% and free shipping! Everyday eBay features their daily deals and if you follow them on Twitter @eBayDailyDeal you can keep up with all the savings potential. A great place to shop for backpacks and dorm supplies for that college bound child! And don’t forget your local eBay Classifieds or even list your old items and make money to put towards back to school shopping!

2.  ReUse. Does your child really need a new binder or backpack? Um, probably not so why not make something old new again! Try sewing or ironing on patches to the old backpack that reflects your child’s personality. Use some contact paper and have your child decorate their old binders with cut outs, stickers, photos and other items! Not only will they have fun doing this, they’ll be unique and you’ll save money!

3.  Waste Free Lunches. Save money on not buying hot lunch and know your child is eating healthy by packing their lunch.  Choose BPA, PVC free lunch systems and don’t worry about the juice boxes or plastic baggies ever again! For a wide range of lunch systems and even a savvy green lunch fundraiser visit The Soft Landing and Safe Munch. I’ve written about ways to have an eco-friendly school lunch before and after reviewing several waste free lunch systems I can tell you it is possible!

4.  Germs. Don’t freak out about them because they are everywhere and there are safer ways to stay healthy without using Lysol. Every big box store is full of antibacterial wipes and cleaners but they aren’t necessary. Read about how to fight germs and have a healthy classroom without the toxic stuff!

5.  Green Shopping. When you shop for back to school supplies try buying less and buy items made of recycled content or items because green school supplies are cool! Some of my favorites include supplies from Green Office Supply, Earth Binder, Smencils, Rebinder, ecojot , Tree Smart and Obon.

For other great green back to school ideas check out The Daily Green, Real Simple, Grist, Healthy Child, and Eco Child’s Play.

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Hello, I’m Sommer and this has been my blogging home since 2007. I’m a juggler of life, a protective mama bear and I enjoy travel, wine, sunshine and good books. I hope that through this site you’ll be able find something that inspires you to live a little greener, healthier and happier. Even if it's just a yummy recipe or a personal story of mine.