Green Supplies for the New School Year

Whether it’s rushing to eat their breakfast, hurrying to cram for that quiz, or asking for help with their math homework…it is officially that time again! With school almost in session and supply shopping in full swing, it can be tempting to turn a blind eye towards environmentally friendly and health conscious supplies in order to save a couple of pennies– so we at the Purple Fig are here to provide easy and convenient alternatives in order to keep your kiddo (and the earth) safe and toxin-free!

What Are Popular Products Made Of?

Large chain stores and popular market brands know that their appeal lies in their affordability, placing tantalizing “low price” signs and sale bins mid-aisle in order to lure in customers. Their affordability, however, is just about the only positive thing about these products!

Your child comes into contact with countless objects during an average school day- most of which are manufactured with artificial, non-natural materials such as vinyl and plastic -and seemingly harmless items like their backpacks and binders aren’t exceptions to the toxins. According to a 2012 study by the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice:

75% of children’s school supplies tested in a laboratory had elevated levels of toxic phthalates, including popular Disney, Spiderman, and Dora branded school supplies such as vinyl lunchboxes, backpacks, 3-ring binders, raincoats, and rainboots.

Phthalates, which are used to make plastics more soft and flexible, are chemicals that were banned from children’s toy manufacturing due to their connection with health issues (asthma, obesity, and ADHD for example) and developmental disorders. Because the phthalates do not form a strong bond to plastic, the chemicals have the likely potential of rubbing off or getting ingested by the user– in this case, a child. Concerns about the chemicals’ presence in lunch boxes, in particular, are rising.

Bottom line: the higher your awareness of the nature of product manufacturing, the more you’ll be able to prevent your kiddo from coming into contact with harmful chemicals!

Eco-Friendly Supplies

Looking for a safe and earth friendly alternative to that binder or set of pencils? Look no further! There is an array of eco-friendly school supplies, from elementary to college, awaiting your discovery!

  1. Notebooks from Recycled, Upcycled, and Sustainable Materials

banana paperBanana Paper Recycled Notebooks

rock paper notebookRock Paper Notebooks (made with limestone)

This journal is recycled from Panda poo!

This journal is recycled from Panda poo!

Recycled & Odorless Poo Poo Paper

100% Recycled and Post-Consumer Recycled Notebook

2. Recycled Writing & Coloring Utensils

Regular Newspaper Pencils

Colored Newspaper Pencils

Soybean Biodegradable Crayons

The 7 Year Pen

Recycled Rubber Erasers

3. Crafts and Supplies

Bamboo Dry Erase Board 

Recycled Paper Clips

Non-Toxic Glue

Solar Corn Plastic Calculator 

4. For the Cafeteria

BPA-Free Stainless Steel Bento Box

Upcycled Capri Sun Lunch Pouch

BPA-Free Reusable Containers

Klean Kanteen Bottles

Biodegradable Non-Toxic Ice Packs

5. Bag Swagger

Kids EcoGear Backpacks (made without PVC & recyclable)

Engage Green Recycled PET Penguin Messenger Bags

ecogear bag EcoGear Bags for the Upperclassman or Collegiate

Engage Green Recycled PET Backpacks

Terracycle Upcycled Backpacks

GreenSmart Laptop Carrying Bag

Engage Green Slim Fit Laptop Bags

Even More Eco-Friendly Goodies!

Browse these other selections and/or consider these suggestions for your growing list of green school supplies: