Sustainable School Supplies

background notebook pencil school supplies
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

 Reusable and Recycled Notebooks

Last Christmas, my eco-friendly aunt gave me my first reusable notebook from Rocketbook. You can write in your notebook using FriXion pens, markers or highlighters (which also happen to be refillable). Once you’re done, you use their app to scan and send your notes to your iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Slack or email. When you’re notebook is full, you can wipe the pages clean with a damp cloth or put it in the microwave! This smart, reusable notebook is a great concept because you won’t have to worry about storing dozens of used notebooks since your notes can be synced to the computer. I love using my Rocketbook, but don’t leave it out in the sun because heat will cause the ink to fade.

If you’re not interested in using a reusable notebook, decomposition notebooks are another good alternative as they are made from recycled paper and soy-based ink. Unruled notebooks are also made from recycled materials and they partner with One Tree Planted, meaning that trees are planted with every purchase. Be mindful that spiral-bound notebooks are usually not recyclable because the spiral parts jam up recycling systems.

Pencils, Paper and Erasers

Mechanical pencils are nice to use, but they are made of plastic, and somehow, we always manage to lose them. Consider using pencils that are made from recycled wood rather than plastics. Sprout Pencils have plant seeds capped at the end of the pencils where the eraser usually is. After you’ve used most of the pencil, you can stick it into a pot and watch your plant grow. These pencils are organic, biodegradable and lead-free. Be sure to pair your pencil with a natural rubber eraser and recycled binder paper.

Pens, Markers and Crayons

Think about all of those pens and markers that you’ve thrown away because they’ve dried out. Those products were designed for a single use purpose, so once they run out of ink, they are useless and end up piled in the landfill. The good news is, there are refillable pens and refillable dry-erase markers now. As for normal markers that are used for class projects and posters, marker wax peels are a good alternative.

What do you do with all of your broken crayons at home? How to restaurants dispose of all the crayons that come with kid menus? Sadly, crayons are not biodegradable and when they are thrown away, they just turn into a waxy sludge. You can melt down your old crayons to make new ones, or donate them to a program like The Crayon Initiative. This program melts donated crayons to form new ones and then distributes the recycled crayons to art programs at children’s hospitals.

The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Stationary Site

A lot of plastic somehow ends up in the ocean, but Wisdom Supply Co. is dedicated to breaking that shelf-to-shore pipeline through their recyclable or reusable stationary supplies. They have everything from plastic-free binders to wax peel highlighters. Wisdom Supply Co. is affordable and currently has a school supply program for Bay Area schools.

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