As this warm and wonderful season starts to draw to a close, it’s time to think about fall. Going back to school usually means some new clothes and school supplies for those of us young enough to be returning to the classroom. Parents and cash-strapped college students might be quick to choose the cheapest products available, but this often comes with a heavy environmental cost. Many low-cost school supplies are mostly petroleum based plastic or full of toxic chemicals that represent a health risk.
To help keep you healthy, clean, and green this school year, check out the first 5 back-to-school supplies that go the extra mile when it comes to sustainability. Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about gadgets that will help students conserve or create energy, reduce waste, stay connected, and reduce the presence of chemicals in they’re backpack.
Staying hydrated is the key to maintaining a high level of energy and focus in class. Skip the expensive bottled water and bring your own flexible container instead. Manufactured in the United States, Vapur Anti-Bottles are ultra-durable, freezable, dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. From $9.99
The B2P Gel Roller is made from 89% post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles. It is the world’s first and only recycled pen made from plastic bottles and features vibrant G2 gel ink for smooth, effortless writing. From $5.96.
No matter how hard they try to stay inside the lines, markers have a way of getting all over kids’ hands, faces, clothes, and sometimes, in mouths. Eliminate fears about toxic ingredients with these quick drying markers made with plant and mineral pigments from ClementineArt. Also, Clementine packaging is made of 80 percent post-consumer recycled and reusable materials. From $5.40 for a set of 4.
Staples seem insignificant. If we don’t like their configuration, we rip them out and insert another. But all these tiny slivers of metal add up to big waste and make paper recycling more difficult. Turns out, metal staples are completely unnecessary for binding papers together. This handy staple-free stapler cuts a tiny flap in the corner of your paper, and folds it in on itself, tucked in a tiny paper pocket. Many different options available for around $7.99.
If you’ve ever glanced at your pencil and felt a pang of guilt for the tree that was sacrificed so you could do math homework, these are the writing tools for you. TreeSmart pencils are made from sheets of used newspaper rolled around HB high-quality #2 graphite. A special adhesive formula is used to bind the newsprint together into a cohesive core trunk that is as hard as wood. The pencils sharpen easily, just like those made of wood. $8.00 for a set of 24.