School days, school days...dear old golden rule days...
My fondest childhood memories of the month of September don't have anything to do with actually going back to school. Rather, all the really cool, new, gear you got to shop for in anticipation of the next ten months of reading, writing and arithmetic. 64 color jumbo Crayola pack? Check. Sweet new Muppets lunch box? Done. Hot backpack? Got it. Ask any ten year old and they'll agree: back-to-school time's all about expressing your personality through your gear.
All fine and dandy...but these days it's also a good idea not to forget to express your style and flex your smarts by greening it all up a bit when you can. Parents: never fear! Green school gear gets easier to find every day. Here are a few things to think about when back-to-school shopping for your child (or even for yourself...I still buy a box of crayons almost every year just because it's so great to open up the box and take that first waxy-good whiff!).
1. Sip Hip: Sigg, the original aluminum bottle maker has oodles of options for kids and adults alike. Pack one of these really cool bottles in your child's backpack for all-day thirst quenching and you'll never have to worry about adding to the pile of plastic in the Pacific, or poisoning your son/daughter with conventional BPA-laden versions.
2. Bento Box Baby: Lunchables? I think not. All the popular pre-packaged food that gets stuffed into the average lunch box is not only wasteful (individual servings account for a great percentage of annual plastic waste in this country), it's generally quite unhealthy to boot! Laptop Lunches American Bento Boxes are an eco-alternative with their reusable mini containers and cool "laptop case" style carriers. And, a portion of each laptop lunch purchase gets donated to schools and environmental organizations in your area!
3. Hemp Packs Rule: Backpacks can be a major pain, well, in the back...and neck...and everywhere if not worn correctly or designed ergonomically. Beyond that, they're generally produced in less than adequately sustainable factories in developing nations where workers aren't paid fair wages. Timbuk2, makers of the original messenger bag, are not only sustainably produced, but the packs they sell are also made of ecologic materials like hemp. Oh, and they're really, really wickedly designed. Can't find a bag you like? Design your own version with the site's Build-A-Bag function. Shop now through September 16th for up to an extra 60% off your tote!
4. A crayon, is a crayon, is a crayon, is a crayon? Not quite. Gertrude Stein herself would wag a finger at Crayola! Check out the eco-supply options from Green Apple School Supplies where you can purchase everything from recycled binders and banana paper notebooks to washable recycled content markers. Because all crayons were not created equal...