Top 10 Eco-Friendly School Supplies

The first lesson of the school year? Environmentally-responsible school supplies are getting easier to find

Joanna Linberg
1 / 10

Backpack Bee Mine

The hallways will be buzzing with good vibes because of this bee-patterned backpack. Its maker, Parkland, diverts plastic bottles from the landfill and uses them to craft the exterior of the pack (each bag uses 12 recycled bottles). This style comes in more than 40 colors and patterns, but the Bee Flash model supports the WE Charity’s Opportunity Pillar in Kenya, which teaches beekeeping as an income source.
2 / 10

Organic Lunch Option

Chemicals are never on the menu when you send lunch in an organic cotton lunch box that’s also free of all the common-to-plastic baddies (BPA and lead, to name two). Using organic cotton supports healthy soil, but it also means you can toss this entire bag in the washing machine to clean it. (12 more playful designs are available.)
3 / 10

Smart Water

A lot of water bottles ensure pure water inside the bottle, but Klean Kanteen works hard to make sure their manufacturing process protects water and energy supplies outside (like, in the great outdoors), too. Every step in the making of a bottle gets attention, including recycled packaging, carbon offsets when necessary, and a tightly-managed and -monitored supply chain.
4 / 10

Make a Mark

Wait, even crayons pose an environmental and health risk? Well, it depends. Conventional versions get their bulk from paraffin wax, which is made of petroleum byproducts. A food-grade paraffin is relatively safe, but still has the potential to release carcinogens when melted. Sidestep the whole icky business with these beautiful beeswax crayons made by the family who sells them. Twenty flat-sided sticks come in this assorted pack.
5 / 10

More Than a Basic Binder

Some things are better the second time around—and the Naked Binder proves it. Each 3-ring folder is 100 percent made of post-consumer waste, which means the entire thing is recyclable. And if you think giving up a vinyl binder means giving up durability, you’re in luck: among other more standard tests, Naked Binder has tested the hinges to 250,000 openings to see if they hold up. (They do, coming out like new!)
6 / 10

A+ Addition

Manufacturing new plastic for calculators just doesn’t add up. Not when options like this basic calculator made from super-renewable bamboo are available. This numbers wizard also skips the battery in favor of solar-powered computing. The cute factor of the wood is exponentially higher than that of single-use plastic, too. For students in higher math, this same brand offers a scientific calculator made of recycled plastic.
7 / 10

Bottles to Bags

Stow pencils and markers in this sweet pouch that, like the Bee Flash backpack, is constructed from plastic bottles that have been shredded, melted, and spun into durable fabric. The 9.5” x 6” pouch comes in a variety of patterns and solid colors, but the Sundae pattern is a treat.
8 / 10

Come Together

Apparently, the Italians have been sticking it to global warming since 1924, when they began manufacturing this glue made from potato starch and just three other all-natural ingredients (so yes, it’s technically edible). It works the same way a standard glue stick does, only this one smells like almonds instead of nasty solvents.
9 / 10

A Better Mouse

For every laptop trackpad, there’s a hand-cramp in the making. Stave off future ergonomic issues (and some plastic-driven environmental ones) with a wireless mouse handcrafted from bamboo and a natural rubber wheel.
10 / 10

Dry Erase for Days

Remember the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle? You can add “refill” to that list and pick up a pack of these dry-erase markers with replenishable ink supplies. Even better, get a set for your child’s classroom. It’s a small step, but when you consider more than 400,000,000 dry erase markers are tossed into landfills each year, it’s an important one. Use discount code Sunset20%Discount at checkout to get 20% off this product--no time limit, no limit per customer.