sustainable school supplies

13 Eco-Friendly School Supplies & Tips To Get Ready For Fall

Schools can generate a lot of waste. That’s why we’ve created an eco-friendly school supplies checklist to help you aim for an A+ grade from the planet. 

A recent study estimated that public high schools generate 16 kilograms of waste per student per week, and with approximately 5 million elementary and high school students in Canada, that’s 80,000 tonnes of garbage a week! (Source: Waste Reduction Week Canada)

Before heading out to the stores, have a look at home to see what supplies you may already have. Teachers may also provide a school supplies list so you only buy what you need.  However, there are always one or two items you may not have at hand and in that case, you should aim to purchase sustainable school supplies. 

Read on for our list of eco-friendly school supplies you can equip yourself with to ace your sustainability scorecard!

Love Your Planet Lunch Bag

At Funkins, they believe it is our responsibility to instill environmental values in our children – and for Funkins, it starts in the lunchbox.

 

Check out The Very Hungry Caterpillar Classic Style Lunch Bag

 

This adorably stylish insulated lunch bag is thoughtfully designed by moms and tested by kids and teachers to ensure optimum functionality both at home and school. 

Its features include an easily wipeable, insulated interior with a mesh pocket and an interior name tag to write your child’s name.  This lunch bag includes a detachable strap to wear over the shoulder.  PVC, Phthalate, Lead and BPA-Free.

 

Cloth Napkins

What’s the issue with the tissue? 

Did you know that the average household uses 2 rolls of paper towels per week?

And most of those used paper towels go straight into our landfills.  Globally, discarded paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash every year.

Make the switch to cloth napkins that can be used at school or to set the table at home. These napkins are single-ply 8″x8″  and are made from 100% cotton flannel.

Our member Cheeks Ahoy makes them in a variety of fun patterns and prints. 

Weekly Planner & Notebooks

Setting your student ( and yourself!) up with a good routine to take on their first day of school is a recipe for success. 

Staying organized can help reduce stress, increase productivity, helps avoid procrastination and teaches an essential life skill. 

We love the beautifully designed weekly planners and notebooks from our community member ecojot.

Ecojot paper is 100% post-consumer recycled – made entirely from old waste paper in the award-winning Cascades mill in Québec, Canada. All inks and glues are vegetable based, and all black and kraft boards are sourced from sustainable suppliers in North America. 

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Alannah Hardcastle

A strong and fiery nature-lover and passionate gardener, Alannah knows how to engage communities with purpose. She’s particularly keen on building a diverse and inclusive community that upholds values to create a social and environmental impact .

Eco-Friendly Coffee

We all know early mornings and coffee pretty much go hand in hand whether it’s to help you get through your morning lecture or to help you get everyone up and ready for school.

Club Coffee’s revolutionary AromaPak™ sustainable coffee solutions combine sustainably certified coffee sourcing with unique manufacturing technologies to deliver fresh, great tasting coffee in today’s most innovative recyclable and compostable** packaging. Available in:

  • PῧrPod100® compostable** single serve pods
  • Compostable** espresso capsules
  • Recyclable, paper-based packaging for ground and whole bean coffees

Club Coffee’s Coffee pods are:

  • 100% fully certified compostable** pods by Biodegradable Products Institute
  • Broken down in commercial composting in as little as 5 weeks
  • Developed with plant-based materials – you aren’t drinking out of plastic
  • Proven by 3rd party academic research (York University) to be better than recyclable K-cups from environmental, economic, and technical perspectives
  • Designed conveniently: no need to take apart your pod before you put it in a green bin. It’s designed to break down together.

**Our coffee pods are certified compostable for processing in commercial facilities where accepted – check locally.

Reusable Snack Bags

Litterless lunches are the way to get an A+ for eco-friendly school supplies. Food packaging accounts for most of the waste associated with school supplies. 

Our community member TWIG  offers a wide selection of reusable snack bags in a variety of fun designs for any age. You can machine or hand wash cold and low heat or hang to dry. 

Think of all the plastic bags you will prevent for an average of 196 days of school. 

Safety Razor

 Did you know that 2 BILLION plastic, disposable razors end up in landfill every year? And that it takes a plastic razor around 1000 years to degrade?

Take a lesson from your grandparents and go back to ‘old’ school with a Safety Razor from Rockwell Razors.  This sustainability tool is a great example of buy one, use for life.
All you need are replacement blades and everything is stainless steel which is recyclable.  Get started with a Shave Kit which includes everything you need for a world-class shave.

 

 

Vitamins & Supplements

With all the changes that back-to-school can bring, stress levels can go up. Eating a well-balanced diet is known to support overall good health and can set a learner up for success in school. 

Supplements to enhance the immune system can be an excellent addition to your morning routine. 

We live in an overstimulating world with so much digital media. Improving attention can lead to better learning and improved levels of concentration. 

Choose a company that believes sustainability goes far beyond product features and believes that we must have an impact in every single thing that we do.  Check out our community member Greenfilled

Reusable Water Bottle

Stay Hydrated! – without the single-use plastic.

It’s no secret that drinking enough water every day is imperative for your best health so you can be your best self.

Drinking enough water regularly can help to keep your body hydrated, leading to better sleep, and reduced stress, along with the reduced risk of other health conditions.

Get equipped with a variety of options including bottles made from glass, professional-grade stainless steel and options with a built in straw from our member Healthy Planet

Airtight Leakproof Food Storage

For those seeking to be plastic-free consider a Stainless Steel Food Storage Container.

Stainless steel does not absorb bacteria or leach any chemicals. 

Stainless steel is non-staining and non-porous. Take that tomato sauce! No more staining.  

These round airtight food storage containers are available in many different sizes to suit your lifestyle.

Pro Tip from The Green Jar: You can also write on the container with a non-permanent marker. This helps to specify the contents, date and owner. 

 

As a bonus, every order at The Green Jar supports reforestation by planting a tree with Our Forest.

Snacks in Compostable Packaging

We understand that life can get busy, and that most people strive for convenience. However, convenience typically means plastic. Almost all the food that we buy is in plastic packaging, ending up being disposed of in our landfills or ecosystems. 

Nature Knows offers alternative options for you: healthy eating on-the-go with 100% plastic-free and compostable packaging. Their single-serve snacks, meal kits and family-size formats are all breathable and go right in your compost or green bin! No more plastic clamshells or trays that take hundreds of years to decompose. Nature Knows is committed to helping you eat well and reduce your plastic footprint with each fresh bite. 

Eco-Crayons

Did you know most crayons are made from petroleum? 

Your little one can make the world more colorful with this pack of 10 eco-friendly crayons. Eco-Crayons come in 10 colors: red, orange, yellow, dark green, light green, blue, purple, pink, brown, and black.

Eco-Crayons are made from all-natural ingredients: beeswax, carnauba wax, soy wax, and mineral pigments. They are a safe alternative to traditional crayons. Handmade in the USA.

 

Back to School Eye Exam

 As the new school year begins, it is recommended to schedule an optometry appointment for optimal learning.

 According to the Ontario Government, 80% of classroom learning is visual.

 An annual comprehensive eye exam can identify vision problems and treatment options to help students reach their full potential.

Yes, you can keep this green by choosing a service provider that cares for the planet. Our member Peterborough Optometric is a great example of this.

⚡ They choose to be Bullfrog Power -ed to reduce their emissions footprint and support the growth of renewable energy in Canada.

Back to School Hair Cut

You can head back to school with confidence with a fresh haircut. Choosing a low-maintenance style can help you save time getting ready for those early mornings. 

Our member The Green Hair Spa located in Stratford, Ontario is a leading example of a sustainable salon.

⚡ They choose to be Bullfrog Power -ed to reduce their emissions footprint and support the growth of renewable energy in Canada.

The Green Hair Spa specializes in plant-based, ammonia-free hair colour and organic beauty products. They are members of Green Circle Salons dedicated to disposing of hair product waste in eco-conscious ways. 

They use reusable & degradable foils made from construction waste. 

Last but not least they have established relationships with local conservation areas and artisans to truly support the environment and the people in their community!

We hope you enjoyed reading about these eco-friendly school supplies and tips! Do you know others getting prepared for going back to school? Easily share this blog to your platforms with the buttons below!
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Do you want to go Back-To-School?

The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) is the largest holistic nutrition school in Canada and has been Teaching the Medicine of the Future™ since 1994.

There are multiple provincially-licensed branch locations across Canada plus Distance Education.  CSNN is proud to offer flexible learning formats, including: Live Online, Hybrid, Classroom, and Self-Study Online.

The Eco-Nutrition course is part of the Natural Nutrition Program. The Natural Nutrition Diploma Program provides the fundamental tools needed for a lasting career in holistic nutrition. Graduates earn a professional designation and title upon successful completion of the program. 

 

Camp Kawartha offers a variety of educational programs for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students. They run through Fall, Winter and Spring with over 40 environmental education programs all linked to the Ontario curriculum. 

They also offer workshops on environmental education to student teachers from Trent’s School of Professional Learning, and we provide hands-on workshops, lectures and seminars and day camps on sustainability to the general public. 

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