In a world full of over packed landfills, global warming, and synthetic everything there has been a greater emphasis on “going green”. “Going green” is a term used to describe the changes we as a society are making to protect and preserve our natural environment from destruction and harm. This movement has taken off prompting companies to change the ways they manufacture products as well as the way millions of American consumers shop. In virtually every aisle of every store you can find eco-friendly everything, but if seems the companies that make school supplies haven’t quite caught up with the rest of the world. Plastics, inks, correction fluids (and various other solutions), and vinyls plague the shelves in the school supply aisles. Luckily, there are some companies with an environmental conscience.
Trees are most affected by school supplies. Wooden pencils and truckloads of paper are used almost daily once school is in session and many think there is no alternative, but those people would be wrong. Wooden pencils are easily replaced by recycled newspaper pencils. These pencils are made from 100% recycled newspaper and greatly help reduce deforestation. Surprisingly, you can also find pens made from recycled denim, money, and rubber tires. There are also “tree free” papers. These great alternatives are not made from wood pulp, but from fibrous plants. Also available are notebooks and printer paper made from 100% post consumer recycled paper.
Backpacks and clothing are also in need of a green makeover also. When buying a backpack, look for a hemp one a backpack made from things such as recycled soda bottles. And to a school aged child, nothing is more sacred than back to school clothes shopping. However synthetic fabrics are dominant in this category also. When shopping for school clothes look for natural fabrics such as organic wool, cotton, and hemp. These are more comfortable than man made materials and will greatly help reduce the pollution that comes with making and disposing of synthetic fabrics.
Synthetic materials are also very prevalent when it comes to your child’s art supplies. Thankfully there are greener options. When looking for scissors, look for a pair with at least 30% post consumer plastic or recycled stainless steel. Also, when shopping for glue look for something acid free and non toxic. And last but not least, there are several great options for crayons. Crayons can be purchased made from either beeswax or soybeans. However, if these alternatives cannot be found (generally you can find them online) then make sure your crayons are non toxic.
Change is possible, but it requires participation and baby steps. If everyone did just a small part, this earth would be a cleaner place. With all the eco-friendly options that can be just as wallet friendly going green is as easy as ever, even when it comes to purchasing the mandatory school supplies.