By Anna Kubiak
October 14, 2021
The return to school means a flurry of new school books and supplies, however, replenishing last year’s items may not be the best way to support the climate. If you are looking to become more environmentally friendly, there are a few things to consider when back to school shopping.
Many school supplies are not eco-friendly and have contributed to deforestation and a buildup of waste in landfills. The mass production and distribution of products such as pens and notebooks increases measurable levels of toxic carbon emissions.
To aid in the movement towards a more climate aware educational system, there are concrete steps you can take this year to join students worldwide who are working to reverse the effects of climate change, such as walking/riding a bike or utilizing public transportation instead of driving a car. There are also many school products that are being created in an eco-friendly way such as Sprout’s plantable pencils, which allow you to plant your pencil after you have worn it down to grow plants or perhaps investing in a biodegradable cotton pencil case. Many writing utensils can also be found made from recycled paper and offer an earth-friendly option to traditional pens/pencils.
The eco-friendly school supply options are numerous as both large and small businesses are making the move towards incorporating environmental compatibility as a priority for their products. The idea is to replace plastic with biodegradable or reusable alternatives and reduce the deforestation that occurs to create paper. Additionally, limiting or going completely zero waste when shopping and using school supplies has considerable positive effects on the climate.
Some options for eco-friendly notebooks/paper include products made with recycled paper, such as the popular ‘decomposition notebook’ which is created 100% out of recycled paper. Graph paper and printer paper can also be found using this same method.
Other school supplies looking to go eco-friendly include erasers, colored pencils, and crayons. Companies like Crazy Crayons have embraced the opportunity to make their products eco-friendly and fun, by using unique and festive designs such as their Eco Stars crayons. Their commitment towards supporting the planet is a step forward that paves the way for other companies to put their own personal spin on traditional school supplies.
As you return to school this year, consider the products you are purchasing and their potential impact on the climate. By finding supplies that are designed to be eco-friendly and buying only what you need to reduce waste, and reusing what you can, it is possible to reduce carbon emissions. Many of these environmentally conscious options are readily available and budget friendly. A collective commitment to eco-friendly school supplies can make a significant impact on preserving the planet for generations to come.