Whether this fall finds your kids back in the classroom or homeschooling, there are still plenty of ways to make it a sustainable school year. From eco-friendly school supplies to plastic free lunch essentials, start the year off right with our green back to school gear guide.
First things first.
Reduce is the most important of the 3 R’s. And the greenest back to school gear is the stuff you already have on hand. So if last year’s backpack is still in great shape, reuse it!
The same goes for stainless steel or glass containers you use for packing lunches. They typically last a very long time, so there’s no need to replace them each year.
This back to school gear guide contains affiliate links.
Eco-Friendly + Non-Toxic Lunch Gear
If you need new non-toxic school gear, here are some of our favorite options for kid-safe school gear and non toxic lunch items.
Once you gather all your safe lunch supplies, here’s everything you need to know about prepping and packing healthy lunches. You’ll even find a month’s worth of lunch ideas with photos.
Fill your child’s lunch bag with tempered glass storage containers. Made from high quality borosilicate glass, they’re also oven, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe.
With different sizes for snacks or meals, you can always see exactly what’s inside them, making it super easy to pack lunch the night before.
PlanetBox has been one of our go-to lunch boxes for 10 years now. Talk about easy on the environment and definitely worth it when it comes to your budget.
With 5 different sized compartments, this one is great for bigger kids or for bringing your lunch to work. Freshen up this lunch box each year with new magnets or a new carry bag. Because it’s stainless steel it contains no lead, PVC, phthalates, or BPA.
Mini Mix + Match Bento Lunch Set
Miniware’s durable Bento stainless steel container is perfect for young kids or holding snacks. It fits up to four removable silicone pods. Use the smaller containers for hot or cold foods like soups or dressings.
The GrowBento fits easily into a lunch bag or backpack, is super easy to store, plus it’s dishwasher safe.
Funkins bags are super cute, roomy, functional, and easy to pack. They’re also they are machine washable! All Funkins are free from lead and phthalates
You’ll find dozens of uses for Stasher Bags. Made from food-grade silicone, they contain contain no BPA, no PVC, and no latex.
This sandwich wrap from Khala lets you shape the wrap to any snack or food, making it a great reusable alternative to plastic wrap.
Because the backpack is the work horse of your child’s school gear, it’s worth buying a quality one. It needs to withstand daily travel to and from school, after school activities, locker or cubby storage, and everything in between.
When your gear lasts a long time, that automatically makes it eco-friendly. So while some of these backpacks may not be made from organic or recycled materials, we took durability and longevity into account.
Bixbee’s lightweight, water-resistant and sturdy backpacks are specifically made for kids’ unique measurements, and they feature a patented horizontal design to carry weight above waist level.
Spiderman Glow in the Dark Backpack
Sustainably sourced and lead-free, this backpack comes in four sizes and has matching lunch gear. Water-resistant fabric also glows in the dark.
Phthalate-free with comfy padded straps for little shoulders. Easy-to-clean lining and write-on name tag inside. Mesh side pocket adjusts to fit a reusable water bottle.
One of our team members used the same JanSport backpack through all four years of college. From books to laptops, there’s plenty of space and padding to take care of their stuff. With a wide selection, you’ll find the perfect backpack for any age.
This gorgeous backpack is spacious enough to fit all those new eco-friendly school supplies. It might even become your new travel go-to bag because it’s so convenient.
Certified by the American Chiropractic Association, this bag features custom injection-molded shoulder straps and padded, breathable panels. Plus it’s plenty roomy for a laptop, books, and binders.
Back to School Organization
Creating a reliable routine is a great way to start off a new school year. Getting your space organized to support the new daily routine is equally as important. Here’s how to set up a family command center. And here’s how to organize and declutter all the school paperwork and projects they bring home.
Designed especially for little kids going to school for the very first time! This combo features extra-durable, waterproof labels perfect for backpacks, clothes, lunch containers, shoes, toys, and more.
Peel and stick the labels to your child’s things to keep them coming back home each day!
Make mornings simpler by choosing a week’s worth of outfits ahead of time. This handy hanging shelf keeps their clothes organized and out of the way until your child is ready to get dressed. Also helps encourage independence and self-sufficiency.
Never underestimate the power of hooks to keep you organized. They can blend into almost any room to keep things off the floor. Laundry rooms and entry halls don’t have to be a chaotic catchall if you have a system to keep things organized.
If you have resources or eco-friendly back to school gear options that have made your family’s back to school routine simpler, share them in the comments!
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We invested in freezable lunch boxes and BPA, recycled plastic bento boxes for my kids’ lunches. We don’t have to hunt for ice packs, and we don’t have to stress about lost bento boxes.