Sharpen those pencils, parents! Back-to-school is either already here for you or just around the corner, and it’s time to starting ticking to-dos off your list. But don’t go stocking up on off-the-rack clothes, plastic baggies, and non-recycled paper just yet! There’s a better set of solutions thanks to sustainably minded companies like Schoola and Paper Culture . We here at ECOlunchbox have teamed up with our friends to help you get back-to-school in an eco-conscious way.
Not only are these sites innovative and wallet-friendly, they help you eschew the waste-making, $75 billion dollar back-to-school industry that reigns over the US like a grumpy toddler. Boasting darling duds, creative, durable supplies, and more, these alternative shopping options make back-to-school shopping a complete win. Embracing the three r’s of green living—reduce, reuse, and recycle—these sites will help you keep the planet, and your pockets, filled with green.
Reduce: Say Bye-Bye to the Brown Bag with Ecolunchbox
It’s incredible, but true: 100 million pieces of lunchtime trash are thrown away every hour. And one of the worst culprits in this crime? School-time lunch waste.
Though every small paper bag and ziploc you use may not seem like such a big deal, don’t be fooled. Over time, these items add up to mountains of trash—4.6 billion tons in the US alone—that could make even Everest seem small. In fact, lunchtime trash And worse, plastics are full of chemicals that are anything but healthy.
Happily, you can kick this toxic, trash-making mess out of your life with smartly designed items like those crafted by ECOlunchbox. Non-toxic, durable, and charming, ECOlunchbox’s stainless steel containers and artisan-crafted bags will make your kid’s lunchtime waste- and worry-free.
The impact products like ECOlunchbox’s make is not to be underestimated. By helping parents switch to smarter lunch-packing options, ECOlunchbox annually prevents 8 million pounds of trash from hitting landfills and offsets the CO2 equivalent of driving 5.4 million miles. And speaking of waste, the average family spends $450 a year on throwaways like disposable baggies, so when you snag yourself a reusable lunch bag or box, you’ll have some extra cash for those little luxuries parents need—like date nights and dinners out.
Reuse: Cute Clothes Meet a Good Cause with Schoola
The amount of pollutants produced by the fashion industry is incredible. Yet, kids constantly need new clothes. Not only do studies show kids lose 80% of new school supplies throughout the year, they grow like beanstalks. Children ages 2-10 grow 2 ½ inches and 6 pounds a year, and after puberty, these rates more than double. This means you need to get new clothes for your kids practically non-stop.
Instead of turning to off-the-rack garments from your local box store, opt for a more environmentally and financially sustainable option like Schoola. Full of carefully curated, preloved fashion for kids and women, Schoola helps you get adorable new clothes without buying into the polluting fast fashion industry. And as a cherry on top, Schoola also donates a large portion of their proceeds to your kids’ schools.
On average, parents spend $670 on their K-12 graders each year. When these dollars are spent at Schoola, over $240 per parent goes towards art lessons, music classes, PE, or other at-risk programs in over 12,000 donor schools nationwide. Plus, when you donate clothes to Schoola you don’t just help your school, you help the planet. For each bag of clothes send to Schoola, you offset up to 6,500 gallons of water and 22.27 kg of C02. When it comes to looking good on the outside and feeling even better on the inside, Schoola can’t be beat.
Recycle: Products that Are Pretty Inside and Out with Paper Culture
Deforestation causes a staggering 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Mind boggling, isn’t it? Combine that with the fact that, over time, humans have destroyed 75% of the world’s forests, and any smart cookie such as yourself will understand that we can’t just sit back and let this continue to happen.
Inventive companies like Paper Culture want to help you combat the effects of deforestation without compromising on your need for quality school supplies. Offering a wide range of necessary and useful items ranging from kid-friendly notecards perfect for writing welcome notes to teachers, to fun wall decals greats for kids heading off to college, to well-designed labels for all your organizational needs, Paper Culture’s products are both creative and eco-conscious. Not only does the company use 100% recycled materials for products like those mentioned , they plant a tree with every order. And, as you can see here, the power of one tree is pretty darn potent.
By helping to reduce greenhouse gases and deforestation with the wisely crafted (and superbly cute!) products, you’ll be able to send your kids to school with a clean conscious.
Earn Top Marks in Environmental Excellence
With shopping options like those listed above, you’ll excellently execute upon back-to-school errands without even having to leave your house. By switching headache-filled trips to the store with simple at home task-tackling, and opting for ethical, economical consumerism instead of buying quick-to-break, full-of-waste products, you’ll make a better world for yourself, your kids, and the future that awaits your bright young minds.