Back to school season is just around the corner, and for some, it’s already started! School season might look a little different this year due to COVID, but whether you’re going back to school or doing school from home you might need some school supplies!
School supplies can be extremely wasteful. Everything’s made of paper and plastic! And most of the time we don’t even use our supplies fully before going out and buying more the next year.
So let me start by saying: use what you have. If you have a half-empty notebook, or pens with ink use them first. This is truly the most sustainable and eco-friendly way to go about school supplies.
But if you’re in need of something new, these sustainable brands make the best, most affordable eco-friendly school supplies. But you don’t have to be in school to use them, you can use them at work or just for at home!
*This post contains affiliate links meaning I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using these links. I only recommend products I love and trust. See our full disclosure here.
Eco-Friendly School Supplies:
Pens are usually made from plastic, they’re used until they’re empty and then they’re tossed away.
Onyx And Green offers bamboo made pens with a natural rubber grip for comfort while writing. The 1mm tips are made from plant-based corn plastic. ou can pick up a two-pack with black ink here.
A Good Company is exactly as they claim to be: a good company. They make pens from natural, eco-friendly materials and BPA free plastics. Their pens are also refillable so they should last you for years and years! Plus for every purchase, A Good Company plants a tree in Africa. Pick up the natural grass pen in blue ink here!
Pencils might be the least wasteful of all the school supplies, but they’re still waste.
Onyx and Green has mechanical pencils made from recycled plastic. And of course, since they’re mechanical, you can potentially use these pencils for life! Pick up a 3-pack here!
Sprout probably makes the coolest pencils on the market: They’re plantable! Each pencil is labeled on the end with which plant they are, and when you’ve used your pencil up to that point, simply plant it in a pot and watch it grow! Talk about a circular product! Grab a pack of 8 right here!
3. Colored Pencils
Colored pencils or as I’ve always known them “pencil crayons” are very similar in waste to that of a pencil.
Onyx And Green again, offers a sustainable solution! They make the most gorgeous recycled newspaper colored pencils! What’s cool about them is not only that they’re made from recycled materials but that they each have a faint story still printed on them. And they even come in a 24-pack!
Sprout also makes a plantable version of colored pencils! Grab them here!
I don’t know about you but I was all for highlighters in high school. They made me feel so organized. But same as with pens, they’re made of essentially “single-use” plastic. Meaning when the ink runs out, it’s useless and ends up in a landfill.
Onyx And Green makes gel highlighters from recycled plastic and with a non-toxic gell ink. Using products made from recycled plastic is super important and a great way to help combat the plastic pollution problem.
Since plastic can only be recycled about one time, you’re diverting the plastic from landfills by using recycled plastic products! Like this fabulous 4-pack of highlighters from Onyx And Green!
While natural rubber grows on trees and is considered a renewable resource, it’s often sourced unethically and can lead to deforestation. These erasers, however, are made from recycled rubber. And you know how I feel about recycled products. (I love them!)
It’s kind of like second-hand rubber. it already exists, the damage has been done, why not use it again to keep it out of landfills. You can grab a 3-pack here from Onyx And Green!
Instead of buying a plastic ruler or an unethically/un-sustainably sourced wooden ruler, grab a bamboo one from Onyx And Green! Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials as it regenerates on its own and requires very little water.
Maybe notebooks are more of a thing of the past, but I love them! I am definitely a take-notes-by-hand kind of person.
But notebooks can be a huge waste of paper and can lead to deforestation.
Onyx And Green has done it again with a notebook made from sugar cane which requires less water, less energy, and no bleach to produce compared to regular paper! This has been one of my favorite notebooks, it doesn’t feel any different than regular paper. Pick up their 3 subject notebook here!
If you’re looking for something without a spiral, United by Blue makes the perfect journal from recycled paper! And for every purchase, United by Blue removes one pound of pollution from our oceans and waterways!
If keeping your schedule and assignments is something you need help with, then you’ll love Onyx and Green’s stone paper daily planner made from stones or recycled construction site debris with a small amount of plastic binder.
This planner is sleek and oh so sustainable!
9. Pencil case
Of course, you’ll need something equally as sustainable to hold all your pens and pencils in. Untied by blue makes a sleek case from recycled polyester! Check it out here!
This backpack from tentree is made from 21 recycled water bottles and is the most stylish backpack I have ever seen, stylish or not. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself here!
11. Lunch bag
Be in style even at lunch with this insulated lunch bag from Haiku made from 100% recycled polyester!
12. Stasher bags
Single-use Ziploc back are a thing of the past. pack your lunch and snacks in these reusable, silicone stasher bags!
13. Bento Box
Speaking of reusable, why not pack your sandwich or main course in one of these sleek, tin bento boxes! These ones from ECOlunchbox are leak-proof and perfect for saucy dishes and salad dressing!
14. Bamboo cutlery set
I don’t know about anyone else, but we always have disposable cutlery to take with our school lunches because my mom didn’t want us to take the silverware. That’s fair. But don’t let that be an excuse for creating excess waste!
Pick up a reusable bamboo cutlery set and help save the planet!
15. Water bottle
Schools and workplaces almost always have vending machines or places to buy bottled water. But they also usually have water fountains. Bring a reusable water bottle like this one from Klean Kanteen which is completely plastic-free, and save money and the planet!
There you have it! These eco friendly school supplies aren’t any more expensive than regular school supplies. ANd these ones at least care about our planet. Whether you’re heading back to school, learning from home, or going back to work, these products will fit into your life perfectly!
Thank you so much for reading, please don’t forget to share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living inspiration.