Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buy more recycled school supplies (Change 125)

Last year, around this time, I moaned about the fact that to purchase recycled/recyclable school supplies would cost a fortune.  I opted for only recycled paper that year.

This year, I am vowing to do better.  In addition to recycled paper, I plan on purchasing recycled duo-tangs, pencils and binder dividers.  I will be re-using lots of supplies from last year - calculator, ruler, pencil case, scissors, pencil sharpener, backpacks.

I am going to ease the strain of purchasing these more expensive products by starting my shopping earlier, and watching for sales.  I figure, since I have to buy three sets of things now, I need to really start checking the impact my purchases make.

I will have to buy new lunch bags for the kids, but I'm hoping to find recycled or environmentally-friendly options.  Any suggestions for sources for these?


  1. Do you sew at all? Making bags out of old t-shirts is really easy (even my 12 year old sons can do it). These bags are really versatile. They're not insulated, though.

    You can google "t-shirt bags"; you can see a bag I made (step-by-step) on my own blog site.

    Good for you for going eco on these supplies!

  2. How about looking on Esty? The Canadian dollar is really strong, so you might find a few good deals.
    Here's a link Lunch Bags on Etsy

  3. There is a store in Kingsville called The Green Goose (25 Main st west) that sells all kinds of eco stuff. Kim has a whole section of green lunch stuff.
    I'm building a website for her. As soon as I find my list of brands, I will let you know what sorts of things she has.

  4. Thanks everyone. I'm looking at cloth "brown bag" style lunch bags. The padded totes just don't seem to last the year. I had some for when I was working, but can't seem to find them. Besides, I don't think DS would want to take pink to school! ;)

    As for school supplies, picked up 50% recycled newsprint coloured pencils at the grocery store yesterday. Then I found 100% recycled newsprint ones at Coles. Twice the price for twice the newsprint!

    One set of school supplies down.....

  5. one set down...well done! and good idea too!

  6. Hi EcoMom,

    I'm another like minded eco-conscious mom of 4, and we've done a good job with the waste-free lunches. You can read more about it at
    http://alacartegreen.blogspot.com/2010/09/l-is-for-lunch.html The roll top lunch bags are hard to find, but I did see them recently at http://www.pbteen.com
    Hope that helps :)

  7. If you want it to last for a while, you may want to consider metal options . . there are tons on amazon.com

    One example:

  8. Hi all - Just to update you on the school supplies....I bought metal lunch boxes for DS and DD2, just like I had when I was a kid. Guess retro is in! I've also picked up reusable thermoses, and recycled lined paper.

  9. Reusing supplies is the best way to go! I am in my 3rd year of college and I still use notebooks, folders, pencil cases from 7th grade! I plan to continue using them as long as they function.