Eco-friendly(er) back to school guide

Eco-friendly(er) back to school guide

Eco-friendly(er) back to school guide

It’s back to school season.  And that means buying school supplies.   So we’ve got you and your kid/s covered with some ways to be more planet-friendly as they head back to school. 

We know that this time of year can be very (very) expensive and stressful.  And being eco-friendly isn’t always the cheapest way to go.  So you don’t have to jump on every idea here, but just implementing 1-2 ideas now can make a different.  And as things need replacing (because don’t kids grow like weeds?!) you can make more planet-friendly choices, or plan ahead for next year so that gradually you are taking on board more and more eco-friendly ideas. 


Here are some ways to make heading back to school more eco-friendly

  •  Replace your child’s plastic lunchbox with a stainless steel one. There are many plastic free lunchbox choices, as well as ‘snack pottles’ too (and they are great for grown-ups as well). 
  • Same goes for their water bottle.  A stainless steel drink bottle is a wise investment as it is literally drop and shock proof.  Most types you can replace the lids as needed, but the bottle body will keep on going for years and years (and can be recycled at the end of its life). 
  •  Use cloth or beeswax wraps for sammies and lunch items rather than plastic wrap.
  •  Make your own cookies, muesli bars, cake or bread.  Even just doing this 1-2 times a month will make a difference to the level of waste your family is producing over the year. Plus you can cut back on sugar or sneak in some veggies to make it a healthier serving.    
  • Buy a large container of yoghurt (or even better, make your own) and decant it into smaller containers rather than buying single portion servings. 
  • Look for stationery products and books made from recycled paper or materials. 
  •  Switch out the plastic ruler for one made from bamboo. 
  • Think backpacks - Most backpacks are made from nylon, which is very difficult to break down over time, so look for a more planet-friendly alternative like cloth or recycled plastic. 

  •  When you can, opt for materials like cotton, bamboo, linen, or wool rather than synthetic fibres like polyester as these don’t break down as well. And we know how fast kids out-grow things!  So when you’re done, pass the clothes on to other kids to make the most of the clothing’s life span.


  • Go second-hand rather than buying uniforms or clothes new. Even if it’s just a few items.  You’d be amazed what quality is available out there in the second-hand shops and online in places like TradeMe or Facebook. 


  • Sunscreen can be full of nasty chemicals (which are also a threat to coral reefs), so we recommend an eco-friendly, natural sunscreen like Earth’s Kitchen range (which is the only sunscreen to pass our screening process).  You’ll find it in store and online here. 

Posted: Monday 20 January 2020