Sunday, August 28, 2011

School supplies

I know that I've already posted today, but since then I've had time to think about other things... and that usually leads to a post. And at this time of year, there is nothing that you can do to get away from needing to buy school supplies, especially if you've got 2 kids in middle school. (What? How did that even happen?? I was just in middle school myself...)

Anyway, unlike years past, school supplies create a real conundrum for me now because, well as you all know, I don't want to buy anything new. The clothes are a cinch, especially with the Community Health Program having their bi-annual Children's Attic sale on September 9 and 10 - this is a big giant community consignment sale and I can still get clothes for all 3 kids there. For now. The rest is easy enough to find second hand. Worse comes to worse, I'll have a kids clothing swap... which isn't a bad idea, actually.

But it's the school supplies that get me.

So I spent some time today searching for some of the things that they will need online. I was looking for only recycled, eco-friendly things... as well as companies that I feel good supporting. I know that staples now sells recycled school and office supplies, but I would like my money to go to the people that I feel good about. So, here are a few of the things that I found.
(Note, my kids don't go to a public school and their needs might vary from other kids school needs. They currently have no need for anything electronic in their lives, so this is all back to basics kind of stuff.)

Rebinder makes some great binders... however, buying from their website seems to be strictly in bulk/wholesale. I am still looking for a place to buy one single 1 1/2 inch binder made by them for my son.

Buy Green has some good stuff too - I will be purchasing recycled paper binder accessories as well as newspaper pencils, which are pencils made from old newspapers instead of trees. Oh, and I'll probably get some lined paper from these guys too.

They will be needing woodless colored pencils, which I plan on purchasing from our locally run art store, JWS.

And lastly, I splurged on myself (again! this is getting out of hand...) and bought myself this very exciting lunch box from, where I also bought some of these awesome bamboo sporks for me and the kids both to take with our lunches.

Interestingly, a few articles have popped up in my radar about this cool new trend of zero waste and eco-friendly school products in the past few days. This article is great to get people thinking about sending their kids to school without disposable lunch supplies. And this article had some pretty decent product suggestions. Check them out!

You know, years ago my kids wished for "normal" lunch boxes and bags. While they thought they stood out, the parents of the other kids were coming to me asking where we got our lunch boxes because their kids liked them. Funny how that works. Anyhow, even just 2 years ago, it was difficult to find the lunch boxes that my older 2 kids have now been using for 8 years or so. And while I'll never find the same ones again, we are super lucky for so many options out there now.

I can't wait for my new lunch box!


  1. Interesting how the schools are making it mandatory for reusable lunchbox containers. I find the plastic containers last about half the school year, then they just look ragged. This year I invested in a few stainless ones and am hoping to get 2 years out of them. Our Wrap n Mats for sandwiches are still holding up after a year of use!

    PS: I had to laugh at the part of that article that parents are giving kids a choice in their lunch. Seriously? The sandwich they don't choose will be thrown away, completely wasted. Not to mention, giving a choice at mealtime is a recipe for picky/prima donna eaters!

  2. Allison,
    The big kids have had their stainless steel lunchboxes for at least 8 years and counting. Good quality ones will last a LONG time - they are my favorite choice by far. In fact, I was using an old one for take out at a restaurant just the other day and someone asked me where I got it... I bought that thing probably 14 years ago in chinatown, and it's still kicking!

    And that part in the article about the sandwich choice bothered me too, talk about waste! So many kids in our own country don't even have enough food at home to pack a lunch in the first place - not to mention that throwing food away just makes me nuts.