Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Green School Supply Shopping Guide

Here's a list of some awesome eco-friendly and non-toxic school supplies I discovered online and while walking around town.

Beeswax crayons
One of my favorite things about going back to school was getting a big box of fresh sharp crayons. This box of 24 beeswax crayons is a great natural alternative to Crayola and many other crayons brands, which are made of paraffin wax. (Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum, a non-renewable resource.)  I discovered these at the ever adorable Pink Olive in the East Village, but you can purchase them on Amazon for $13 too.

My jumbo EcoJot Journal and Seltzer Goods Seven Year Pen. Perfect pair for plotting blog posts!
EcoJot makes the most loveable notebooks ever! The paper content used is 100% post-consumer recycled and all products are designed with Carolyn Gavin's quirky illustrations and printed nearby in Canada, not China. Need another reason to buy EcoJot? With the purchase of a jumbo journal, Ecojot will give a workbook to a child in need. Their GIVE program, has provided over 200,000 notebooks to children. You can purchase a wide range of EcoJot products (notebooks, journals, cards, wrapping paper) at Sustainable NYC, Anthropologie, and at EcoJot.com.

Seltzer Goods makes The Seven Year Pen. These stylish, slim Swiss-design pens each feature a jumbo ink cartridge that enables the user to write 1.7 meters a day for seven years! Wow! I purchased my pen at Scaredy Kat Cards & Gifts in Park Slope for $8 but you can buy one (and lots of cool PCW cards and wrapping paper) at the Seltzer Goods website.

O'BON pencils are O' so gorgeous!
O'BON makes deliciously designed colored and graphite pencils from rolled 100% recycled post-consumer newspaper. They're claimed to be stronger than wood pencils and O'BON channels some of it's profits into tree planting initiatives. I love that you can buy a pack of 40 pencils on Amazon for just $14 and be the pencil fairy all year. (I am totally that person who is always prepared and happy to share a pencil!)

O'Bon Binders feature a vivid design.
Visit Myobon.com to purchase all sorts of eco-friendly office and school supplies, including binders and folders made from recycled paper and decorated with soy-ink designs, as well as journals filled with white paper pages made from bagasse (sugarcane).

Elmer's School Glue is a non-toxic mainstay.
Elmer's School Glue is non-toxic and ubiquitous. However, if you've got time (and the desire) to do a project with your kids, I totally love the spirit of this homemade glue at icanteachmychild.com which doesn't list cow hooves in the recipe. Yay Kosher!

Brown paper bag book cover. (Image from WikiHow.)
Finally, do you remember covering your text books with brown paper bags? I do!!!! I loved adorning my homemade covers with my doodles and Garfield stickers. WikiHow has instructions on how to make book covers in case you've forgotten.

Check out Environmental Working Group's Back to School Guide for more tips on picking safer school supplies.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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