I am in the middle of this battle myself. The school supplies “required” by my son’s school are plastic, vinyl or going to fall apart. So what to do?
Be inventive. Vinyl binders are not going to happen in my sons life. Toxic, non- recyclable (we have heard even the Staples / Terracycle recycling of vinyl binders is over) and destined to fall apart – we just don’t do vinyl. Also, I work for Naked Binder – eco friendly school supplies. It just wouldn’t be right.
This year my son is getting a smaller ring binder for school, and a much larger binder to store paper in at home. There is no reason to carry a years worth of paper everyday.
For school, a bare board binder
He is going to write on it anyway, so might as well make it easier. The binder pockets just make it easier to bring home loose papers and assignments. 100% recycled 2-pocket folders are just… awesome.
For home – a wood binder – office supplies should look good around the house!
Real, sustainably sourced wood over 100% post consumer waste board. Beautiful! Also, Naked Binder plants a tree for ever binder sold!
Eco Friendly Pencils –
Really no pencil is that bad – they can be composted and the metal end recycled. But we strive to do better when we can – so we look for things like TreeSmart recycled newspaper pencils.
Lunch is the next most wasteful thing in school. We skip lots of plastic ziplock bags for a metal bento box style box. Dog proof (in our case that is a good thing) and dishwasher safe. Also nice since someone un-named like to keep all foods separated…
Word of advise on many of the plastic things schools ask you for: Talk with the teachers. For the most part they just want your kids to have something that works for the projects they are doing – some even embrace the eco friendly message (Naked Binder offers teacher discounts too!).