Back To School: 4 Ways To Be Extra Green

I love seeing all of the new ways to Green our back to school shopping.  Each year, I find that more and more people are opting to buy reusable drink and snack containers and putting them to good use when sending their child’s lunch to school. I was even surprised to see the school fountain where my son goes has a bottle refill area.

However, buying the stainless water cup and using a container to put a sandwich in rather than a plastic baggie are just a couple of ways to green your school experience.

Here are a few other tips that you may not have considered but are really fantastic when looking to be a bit more eco this year!

1- Send Reusable Straws and utensils

Some of my drink containers don’t come with a sport top or straw inserts so I send a straw to school.  We have various sizes for stainless steel straws and we love them.  The same thing goes for utensils.  And since people have asked, no, none of these items have been lost at school. Yet.

stainless straws


2- Give them Reusable napkins

This is something I’ve been meaning to do since last year. My intention is to make some myself, but we’ll see if that happens but I do need something other than paper towels. When I pack the lunches I slip in a napkin so that clean up is a breeze.  Reusable ones would be so easy to just wash up when they come home!

3- Conscious backpack/lunch kit buying

When we think about greening our school stuff, we often turn to food containers, but the actual bags carrying those can be more eco friendly as well.

I know that Spiderman and Tinkerbell are super cool, but those plastic character bags never seem to last, do they? Instead of buying ones that are questionably made (that smell of plastic in the new bag, know what I mean?) or that will rip and tear within three months, look for some alternatives that will stand up to the throwing and tossing and dragging that we know the backpacks have to endure.

Which brands? There are many out there – that include super cute designs too- so take a look around.  However, I can share which ones we have.  This Ecogear backpack for my son that is made from recycled plastic bottles is a perfect size and has stood the drag test.  This Beatrix NY lunch container for him that he’s had since either JK or SK (I can’t remember, but it’s been through a lot!) can go in the dishwasher and looks nearly new still (I’ve seen ones like this at terra20). And My daughter has this adorable lunch cooler from Canadian company So Young (although, hers is a butterfly which I bought from Elm Hill Kids in Ottawa).


source: My Little Green Shop

4- Reduce and REUSE

I know, getting new stuff for school rocks, but for some items they just don’t need to have it be new. Both of my kids will actually be using their backpacks from last year because they are still in good shape and my daughter doesn’t need a bigger one just yet (she will when she goes full days).  Reusing last year’s book bag or lunch kit (both of mine also have lunch kits already) is also another green way to go – and saves you money!

Have any green tips to share? I’d love to hear them below! 

back to school green cover

looking to support local in Ottawa? Three of my advertisers – terra20, Elm Hill Kids and Tag Along Toys all have great products for back to school plus online shop Nayla Natural Care has a lot of great options and is where many of my containers have come from!  Check out your local shop to see what options they have, I’m sure you’ll find something earth friendly and kid friendly!



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