Eco-friendly & Non-toxic School Supplies

It’s back-to-school season, and while most of us rush to find the best sales on the teacher recommended school supplies, it’s also important to keep an eye out for eco-friendly items. Not only do they help the environment, but they’re also better for our children’s health.

Don’t we all want to save the earth? Make it better for our children? This conversation could go on and on about what is sustainability and why it is important. According to, an advocacy group focused on advancing education in environmental science studies, sustainability is defined as looking to “protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life.” While this is a wildly important topic, and deserving of much more than a few lines on, my goal is to educate readers to take small steps toward better wellness for themselves and their families.  So on that note…

Eco-friendly materials, containers, supplies are healthier for our children. If the items we use from water bottles to binders contain excessive chemicals, our kids breathe and ingest in these toxic particles. Water bottles, lunch containers and even some organizers could also be made with BPA, PVC, Phthalate and potentially lead and asbestos. It is important to purge these chemicals because many of them are human carcinogens and may contain hormone-disrupting phthalates. Many of these chemicals are banned from toys, but not from school supplies.

Rather than run around town to find the best buy and safest school items, I’ve provided some of my favorite eco-friendly supplies and containers below. Please feel free to comment below and add some of your favorite sustainable school supplies, too.

Eco-friendly School Supplies -

Food Storage

I’ve been using UKonserve for a few years now. Not only for my son’s lunches, but my husband’s, as well. They are durable and easy to clean. Most importantly, they are free of BPA, PVC, Phthalate and lead. I’ve also been scouting some other stainless steel containers that are sold at Whole Foods and other health food stores.

Water Bottles

I admit it, the big plastic Gatorade bottle is so fun and easy for kids to use. I’ve done it. I do it…but try to keep the use to a minimum. There are a ton of more durable and toxin-free stainless steel bottles on the market. I’ve been using the stainless steel Klean Kanteen for a few years. Not only do they come in many shapes and sizes, but if there is any issue whatsoever, the company has a great customer service policy even if you bought them from Amazon. The insulated ones keep my infused water freezing cold throughout the entire day. I’ve also seen a lot of promotion for Hydro Flask and S’well. Glass bottles are easy and I love my Lifefactory bottle, as well.

Bags has a valuable cheat sheet recommending a few different brands for lunches and bags. Many can be purchased on Amazon. Though, LL Bean also sells quality products with backpacks that are free from PVC, phthalates, lead and BPA.

School and Office Supplies

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice created a resource filled with information about eco-friendly products and school supplies. Some are listed below, others to check out include Bic Corp (PVC-free pens,) The Green Office (recycled and eco-friendly notebooks) and Wilson Jones (many PVC office products.)

What are your favorite healthy, eco-friendly school and/or work items?

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  1. Love these eco-friendly options! I’m a sucker for Moleskine notebooks :)
    Akaleistar recently posted…Behind the Scenes of a Fashion Show

  2. Great idea for a post! I need to get a stainless lunchbox and water bottle!!
    Kristen recently posted…A New Chapter

  3. I just bought the Kleen Kanteens for all 3 of my kiddos. They LOVE them!
    Jen recently posted…How To NAIL Back To School, The Parents Edition

    • Yay. We love Klean Kanteens too, especially the insulated ones. My drinks stay cold all day. I even sometimes put green juice in them because th caps are air tight.

  4. These are such great eco-friendly options! Once upon a time I worked for Tots to Teens Magazine, when it was my turn to help with the back to school issue… I went GREEN :) I actually featured a couple of these or similar products.
    Wishing your son a happy school year!

    • Do you still have a copy or link to that article? I would love to see it. I do find that the companies that have been offering/selling/promoting green products and have sustained are usually my first go-tos. Though, I LOVE attending the Green Expo fairs and festivals to check out all the new items. It’s seriously my amusement park. :)

  5. With the water bottles, I’m also always looking for good ones for ME! The school provides most supplies, but we’re in charge of water bottles and lunch supplies and I do want to buy those with care. Klean Kanteens rock.
    Tamara recently posted…Getting Your Kids To Open Up

    • YES, Klean Kanteens rock. I love their colors. Have your kids returned to school yet? It still seems like summer, even with them in school, because Labor Day hasn’t hit yet. I think once the weather really changes and we feel a bit of the cool air, it will hit me. Happy Holiday weekend.

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