How could we make school supplies more sustainable? Photo courtesy of Dvortygirl. Licensed under CC BY-2.0. Heading back to school means buying new school supplies like pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, etc, etc. However, as you do your shopping, consider trying a more sustainable route to choosing your supplies.  

  • Eco-Friendly Erasers – These erasers made by Jet Pens are a great alternative to regular erasers. According to the website, they are “made of biomass polymer, and it reduces Co2 emissions by 50% in its product Life Cycle Assessment compared to the conventional plastic erasers.” They’re available here for just $2.50.
  • Recycled Notebooks – There are many places to buy recycled notebooks, even at your local Office Depot or Target. They’re made of recycled paper and work just as good as any other notebook. At Trinity, there’s a program where we made notebooks out of recycled paper and old cereal boxes for the covers. If you’re that dedicated to make a sustainable notebook, I say go for it. For a super cute alternative to the cereal box notebook, check out this notebook from ModCloth at $17.99.
  • Recycled Dividers – For those of you who love dividers to keep organized, this is a great option for you available at Amazon. It’s 100% recyclable so even after you use it, you can recycle it again. Check them out here.
  • Sustainable Markers – Now we’ve probably outgrown using markers in our classes, but I use markers to decorate signs for clubs and use them for project posterboards. If you’re looking for markers for your next semester, these eco-friendly markers are a pretty neat choice, available fom Sustainable Supply.

But the best way to be sustainable as you do back to school shopping is to do as little shopping as necessary. I use individual folders for each of my classes, but I reuse these folders at the end of every semester. I simply slap a big piece of masking or duct tape over the title I had written there four months earlier, and voila, I have a folder for my new subjects. Reuse your supplies as much as you can, and you’ll be on your way to helping the planet one step at a time.

How do you recycle and use sustainable practices in your back to school shopping? Let us know in the comments!

[via Re-Nest]