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I can’t believe it!  Summer is almost over and it seems like it just started!

Time to put our heads down and get to work on getting back to school – including tackling those school supply lists!

This year mix it up a bit and keep living green in mind while you’re powering through those lists.  School supply lists are a great place to make some simple swaps and switch to eco friendly school supplies instead.

What’s that?  Do I hear moaning and groaning about adding one more thing to your To Do list?  I know, making sure you get everything on the list is hard enough – you can’t possibly switch to eco friendly school supplies, right?  Wrong!

Reuse Supplies

One of the easiest ways to green your school supplies is to reuse items you already have!  My kids LOVE shopping for school supplies so this option isn’t as fun for them but I can usually distract them with some other treat!  Sneaky!

Do you really need a brand new box of pencils or do you have enough left from last year?  Can you tear out the used 20 pages from last year’s composition book instead of buying a brand new one?  And, is there enough glue left in your glue sticks?

If you do find yourself with school supplies you can’t use or have more than you need, check out my post, “Got Lots of Used School Supplies?” to find out how to get rid of them in eco friendly ways.

Simple Swaps

I’ve done all of the online searching for you and pulled together a quick, easy-to-reference list of eco friendly school supplies and where to get them.  These are items that appear on my elementary, middle and high schoolers lists. (Yep, that’s 3 schools!)

In some cases you can pick up these eco friendly school supplies on your regular grocery store run.  Others are available on Amazon and a few are only available through speciality retailers.

How green you go with school supplies is totally up to you.  Pick one or two things to swap out or go all in.  Anything you do – no matter how small – is a green step in the right direction!


Classroom Supplies

Choosing paper made from recycled paper may not seem like a big deal, but it is!  Think about it, if you use 100% recycled paper that paper is made from other paper – NOT trees.  Using recycled paper keeps tons of paper waste from being sent to landfills.  It also means that no new trees are cut down in order to manufacure that paper, making it better for the environment.

In addition to choosing recycled paper options, you’ll also notice products on the list that are made from a more easily recycled material like the tin pencil box.  I’ve chosen this instead of a plastic version because metal can be recycled over and over, plastic can’t. Other items (erasers) are on this list simply because they are manufactured in a more sustainable way which is better for the environment.

Index Cards

White Glue Stick

Pencil Box

#2 Pencils

Wide Ruled Filler Paper

eco friendly schoop suppliesColored Pencils

Large Eraser

Spiral Notebooks





Sticky Notes

Pocket Folders




Classroom Cleaners

Due to budget constraints, many teachers request donations of cleaning and sanitizing products from each family.  In this case, I’ve listed products that contain fewer toxins (wipes) that are safer for your kids and the environment.

You’ll also see more 100% recycled paper products.  In addition to being recycled, the paper towels and tissues are whitened with non-chlorine bleach.  Chlorine bleach, if disposed by manufacturers into local waterways, is harmful to wildlife and water ecosystems.

Paper Towels

Disinfecting Wet Wipes


Lunch Supplies

In addition to all those classroom supplies, you are going to need supplies for all of the many, many lunches you are going to be packing!  Your favorite! 🙂

Lunch supplies are a GREAT place to switch to more eco friendly school supplies.  Once you stock up at the start of the year, you’re set! The items here make the list because they are reusable and/or easily recyclable.

eco friendly school suppliesLunchskins Recyclable/Sealable bags

Lunchskins Reusable Snack/Sandwich bags

Lunchskins Reusable Lunch Tote

Reusable Utensils

Cloth Napkins

Reusable Container

Reusable Drink Bottle

Happy Shopping!

Like I said before, any swap you make – even if it’s just one – is a great green step!  Switching to all eco friendly school supplies may not work for you.  The important thing is to begin to be more mindful of your purchases and if there is a choice that’s safer, healthier and better for your family and the planet go for it!

Have a GREAT school year!!


P.S. If you’re feeling inspired, check out my post, “3 Easy Ways to Help Your School Go Green


Does Going Green Make You Want To Scream?

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