eco-friendly back-to-school

How to Stick to an Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Routine

Back to school is an exciting time of year. Though very few kids would admit to it, they do enjoy seeing their friends again, getting back into a regular routine, and using those new back-to-school items, from notebooks to pencils to sneakers.

Parents, kids, and teachers don’t often connect back-to-school items with being eco-friendly. Yet an eco-friendly back-to-school routine really can be done. Start by asking yourself this:

  • Do we already have any of the items on our back-to-school shopping list?
  • Can we reuse the same backpack from last year?
  • Can we donate any of the items we had last year that we won’t be using again? Perhaps to a school, a daycare center, a hospital, or to people in need?
  • When purchasing items for the coming school year, can we seek out eco-friendly options or buy from brands that pay it forward?

Reducing, reusing, and recycling could save you time and money too, or it can help someone in need! So when you look in your kids’ closets and read over those class item lists this year, think about how you can make “back-to-school” more “economical-and-eco-friendly school” too.

Go Back to School the Kind, Eco-Friendly Way

Environmentally Friendly School Supplies

If you’re hoping to have a more eco-friendly school year, consider this:

You might already have more school supplies than you realize just lying around your house. Check your desks, drawers, and other storage areas where you may already have one or more of the items on your list. Check your class supply list against what you already have at home before heading to the store.

Environmentally friendly school supplies don’t have to break the bank. Some stores send out coupons or coupon codes via their social media or to people who subscribe to their email lists. When you save on eco-friendly school supplies, you can stock up too!

Another way to get a good deal on eco-friendly school school supplies is through Amazon. Simply look at your teacher’s supply list. Then, search Amazon with the terms “recycled” or “eco-friendly” to see what comes up! Some of the many other sites that carry great items for school include The Ultimate Green Store, Green Line Paper Company, and The Green Office.

Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Tips

There are also ways to pay it forward as you get ready to go back to school.

You can head to Schoola for donating clothes and purchasing them too. Schoola has been praised as an “amazing mash-up of community building, upcycling, and commerce.” Parents can donate gently used kids and women’s clothing by mail from home with free shipping. Or you can simply shop their “new-to-you” items! Plus, every new customer gets 25% off in the Schoola welcome email.

Better World Books generates funding for leading literacy initiatives around the world. Every book you buy or donate expands our collective impact. Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 2,300 college campuses and partnerships with over 3,000 libraries nationwide. To date, they have raised millions of dollars for literacy, saved millions of books from landfills, created jobs for hundreds of people, and provided wonderful books to millions of readers worldwide.

Fun, colorful, and always cool, Bixbee bags and backpacks are perfect for school, sports, and backyard adventures. Bixbee will donate a schoolbag with supplies to a child in need for each bag purchased. Perfectly sized to carry everything kids need, Bixbee bags are pvc, bpa, lead, and phthalate free.

Kids love getting new shoes for school, and with every product you purchase from TOMS, they’ll provide help to a person in need. Their giving partners provide TOMS products or services, supporting sustainable and responsible programs for at risk communities. Vegan TOMS are made with no animal byproducts. Designed for women, men, and kids, TOMS vegan collection includes sneakers, slip-ons, and more.

Yoobi, pronounced “you-be,” means “one for you, one for me.” For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need throughout the United States. Yoobi makes colorful, vibrant school supplies that spark learning and creativity.

Lastly, if you just feel like doing something wonderful, consider a donation to Donors Choose, Adopt a Classroom, or Teach for America so that other children can have a great school year too.

Here’s to a kind and eco-friendly school year!

Jessica Cohen is a health coach, a greener living enthusiast, and an advocate of social good. On her website,, she provides tips for being kinder to yourself, to others, and to the planet. Additionally, Jessica enjoys consulting with like-minded companies to create site concepts, develop editorial and social media calendars, ghost write, publish press releases, and run successful outreach campaigns. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram at EatSleepBe.

Will you be stocking up on green school supplies, maybe some eco-friendly ink cartridges from TomatoInk? Share your eco-friendly back-to-school routine below or on Facebook and Twitter.