The summer is coming to a close and back to school (and work!) season is approaching. So… are you prepared? You likely have a list of supplies you’ll need – whether they’re for lunch time, school work, or heading back into the office. But how many of those items are eco-friendly? Let’s take a look at some back to school (or work!) essentials that are made with the planet in mind.
Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle
Single-use plastic water bottles are convenient, but they usually end up at room temperature by lunch time… and often times in the landfill after one use. The solution is stainless steel and insulated, keeping beverages hot for 12 hours, and iced for 40 hours. What more could you ask for? This bottle from Klean Kanteen is also BPA free, phthalate free, and lead free – and can be recycled with scrap metal collections at the end of its life. It has a spill proof, leak proof sport cap for easy sipping, and the stainless steel won’t retain or impart flavors from different beverages. Plus, Klean Kanteen is a Certified B Corp and 1% for the Planet Member, donating 1% of sales towards environmental non-profits, and reaching strict third-party standards for environmental performance. Fill it with your kiddo’s favorite drink, pop it in their lunchbox, and it’ll stay cold all day.
Organic Cotton Lunch Bags
Brown paper bags were a staple in the past, but ECOlunchbox is changing the narrative with their organic cotton lunch bags. They are machine washable, have a sturdy loop at the top, and come in different adorable marine-life inspired designs screen printed at a green-certified business in California. They’re also made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, which means the cotton requires less energy, water, and pesticides to grow than conventional cotton products. ECOlunchbox is also a Certified B Corp, and annually offsets the carbon dioxide equivalent of 4.7 million pounds of coal burned. Swap out the flimsy brown paper bag for a reusable, fun, and eco-friendly alternative! Want an option with a zipper closure instead? We love this option from Fluf.
ZipTuck Reusable Snack Bags
Now that you’ve got the lunch bag and the water bottle, let’s talk about snacks. Single-use plastic bags are often just used once, then tossed in the trash as they are non-recyclable. Full Circle Home has made a better option – BPA-free and reusable snack bags. Made from FDA-Grade EVA material, these bags are easy to clean, dishwasher and freezer safe, and have a leakproof and airtight design. Toss your favorite snacks inside, seal them tight, and put them in your favorite lunchbox. Full Circle Home works with Plastic Bank to help support recycling and ocean clean-up efforts in underdeveloped communities around the globe! Plus, these ZipTuck bags also come in gallon sizes and sandwich sizes.
Want to explore more Lunch Time essentials? Check out hundreds of products here!
In the Classroom
Plantable Graphite Pencils
Whether you’re at school or work, a good pencil is a must-have. But, lots of pencils are coated in a thin layer of plastic, and when it gets too short it ends up in the landfill. But what if there was a better way? With Sprout, there is! When their pencils get too short, you can plant them and start a garden. The pencils themselves are made from sustainably harvested FSC Certified wood with a clay and graphite core, and grow into herbs, flowers, or vegetables depending on the pencil. Lead-free, plastic-free, and compostable, these pencils (and colored pencils) are a must have in the classroom this year!
Onyx and Green
Onyx and Green basically has all the essential school supplies – but reimagined with innovative, eco-friendly materials. From plant based glue, to retractable recycled plastic gel pens, and sugarcane paper notebooks, and beyond, their products make a sustainable back to school season easy. They use materials like recycled plastic, bamboo, plant based resin, cork – and even recycled newspaper. Transforming the traditionally wasteful office supply industry, Onyx and Green is our go-to for classrooms and offices alike. Explore all of their products here!
Looking for an alternative for petroleum and plastic-based crayons? Honeysticks is here to help out this fall with their plastic free crayons! Ethically made in New Zealand, their crayons are created from sustainably sourced beeswax and food-based pigments. They have crayons in classic thin sizes, but their trademark crayon is a shorter and chubbier design – perfect for smaller hands. They encourage creativity, fine motor skills, and imagination in littles ones of all ages. They also offer coloring books made from recycled paper – the perfect activity to keep the little ones busy!
Back to Work
Dual Wireless Charging Pad
Heading back into the office after working from home? It’s important to ensure your office is set up and organized in a way that promotes creativity and clear thinking. For us, that looks like multi-purpose products that reduce clutter, and serve a purpose. This dual charging pad from Nimble does just that. Made from eco-friendly materials like rPET fabric, hemp, and plastic from plant based resin, this charging pad works on newer iPhones, Samsungs, Androids, AirPods (2nd get) and Google Pixel 3. Keep it on the corner of your desk, and ensure your tech is charged and ready to use when you need it. Plus, Nimble has a One-For-One Tech Recovery Project. With every Nimble purchase, you’ll receive a return envelope so you can send 1 pound of old or broken electronics to their e-waste recycling partner. Find other Nimble tech essentials here!
Felt & Cork Desk Mat
Now that you’re back in the office, let’s decorate your desk. This Felt & Cork Desk Mat from Oakywood is made from OEKO-TEX Merino Wool felt and biodegradable cork that keeps your mouse and keyboard from shifting or sliding during use. It has a classic, yet minimalistic style that blends well with any office decor – and will make your coworkers jealous. Perfect for monitor users and laptop users alike, this desk mat creates organization on your desk. Plus, for every purchase, Oakywood plants 1 tree! They also offer unique wood desk essentials like laptop stands and headphone stands. Find your Oakywood favorites here!
We’re excited to get back into the classroom, and back into the office, this year. And these sustainable products make the transition even easier! Want more product suggestions? Explore Back to School, Back to Work and Lunch Time!