Sustainable School Supplies: 12 Places to Find Eco-Friendly Products

crop kid sitting on floor and writing in notebook
Photo by Sarah Dietz on Pexels.com. This post contains affiliate links.

Sustainable School Supplies

In all my years of blogging, I have not managed to write a post on sustainable school supplies. Part of the reason is that I tend to focus on fashion. But it’s also the case that school supplies can seem like the sorts of everyday essentials that must be purchased whether an ethical alternative can be found or not.

While many back-to-school items are a necessity, they also tend to be made with synthetic or non-renewable materials like plastic, or overly rely on virgin trees to supply paper.

But it turns out that there are some good (and affordable!) options that make going back to school a little more sustainable and conscientious. As with all things, of course, it’s helpful to find the best choice for you and/or your school-aged kids.

I must confess that I LOVED shopping for school supplies when I was a kid. There’s something about a new pack of notebooks that filled me with a sense of possibility.

As an adult who is still in school (for one more year!), I still need some of these items, too. So, no matter your age, the following supplies may be useful for you.

The below brands offer products that make reducing waste easy. They also use ethical labor practices. This post contains affiliate links.


12 Sustainable Back-to-School Brands for Lunches, Classroom Supplies, and More

Sustainable School Supplies - lunch

FOOD & DRINK CONTAINERS

1 | Stojo

Stojo makes collapsible coffee cups, water bottles, and food containers out of washable and nontoxic silicone. Items are dishwasher-safe, BPA free, and free of glues.

SHOP STOJO

2 | Eco Lunchbox

Eco Lunchbox is known for their stainless steel food containers. But they also carry cute, canvas lunch bags and reusable travel cutlery. Take advantage of a discount when you buy their convenient kits.

SHOP ECO LUNCHBOX

Sustainable School Supplies - binders
Sustainable School Supplies - notebooks

NOTEBOOKS & BINDERS

3 | Decomposition

Decomposition is a riff on composition notebooks, but they carry so much more! Their spiral bound notebooks, sketchbooks, pens, and binders are made with significant amounts of recycled content and feature nontoxic dyes and inks.

SHOP DECOMPOSITION

4 | Mead Recycled Line

Mead offers a range of notebooks made with 100% recycled paper. Best of all, this classic school supply line is widely available at many big box stores.

SHOP MEAD RECYCLED

Sustainable School Supplies - pens

PENS & CLASSROOM SUPPLIES

5 | Onyx & Green

Onyx & Green carries pens, math tools, staplers, notebooks, and more made with recycled and sustainable materials. They also carry nontoxic, water-based glues.

SHOP ONYX & GREEN

6 | Sprout

Sprout carries plantable pencils made of FTC-certified wood. The stub end contains seeds. When you’re done using your pencil, see if your stub will grow herbs, vegetables, or flowers.

SHOP SPROUT

Sustainable School Supplies - laptop cases

BACKPACKS & CASES

7 | Patagonia

Patagonia carries backpacks and other commuter bags that are fair trade certified and made with recycled materials. You can also shop their pre-loved, “Worn Wear” collection.

SHOP PATAGONIA

8 | Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi makes laptop cases, backpacks, and hiking equipment with overstock textiles. Their production is fair trade, and makers are given creative control over the final product’s look.

SHOP COTOPAXI

Sustainable School Supplies - phone cases

PHONE ACCESSORIES & AIRPOD CASES

9 | PELA Case

PELA offers a huge selection of compostable phone cases, airpod cases, watch bands, card cases, and more. Items are durable, and can be composetd in a backyard compost!

SHOP PELA

ONE STOP SHOP (AMAZON ALTERNATIVE)

10 | EarthHero

EarthHero is a one-stop-shop for all things low waste, zero waste, and sustainable. They have an extensive office supplies section.

SHOP EARTHHERO

SECONDHAND

11 | Thredup

12 | Local Buy Nothing Groups (Find yours on Facebook)


Sustainable School Supplies - pinterest
Sustainable School Supplies - pinterest

Workwear Recommendations for Adults

Kids’ Clothing Recommendations

Looking for more? Shop 100+ sustainable and ethical brands with my Sustainable Brand Directory.
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