Green Back to School Tips

Last week I highlighted back to school tips for shopping local. Today, I want to talk about  green choices.

There are more and more green choices out there in every category! I am going to give you 10 Green Back to School Tips (and even some green and local choices!).

photo (98)

LunchBoxes, Water Bottles and BackPacks:  

My kids favorite backpacks are from PeaceFrog and they used them for 3 grades. These backpacks are being upgraded to after school activities and a new one is on its way.  These fun backpacks are made from recycled material.

For those interested – here is a great article from Mother Nature Network about remembering to keep in mind “Nontoxic choices.”

For younger children try some the backpacks listed in the article by Inhabitots.

For the older children:  Overall there are many options out there – you just have to find the one that best fits.

In general, if out and about in town:

Children’s Store

 Townsend & Bertram

Twig  (I bought my recycled messenger/laptop bag here four years ago and still love it!)

photo 3 (24)

Online Options for backpacks and/or lunch boxes: 

REI recycled backpack

Terracycle Lunchboxes and Backpacks (Each year we have had a variety of terracycle lunchboxes and loved each one.)


And for the person who sews – you can always make your own going to can’t find the pattern you are looking for? How about create your own… Local Internet-Based company, Spoonflower might be just what you need.


photo 2 (34)

2. School Supplies

My favorite place in town to pick up school/office supplies is Office Supplies & More. If you go in and ask about what office supplies are recycled -they will be able to point you to several products. (We even bought a deck of recycled cards there last year as a gift.)

In town:

KatieBeth’s Learning Garden

Office Supplies & More

Scrap Exchange


photo (97)

(I admit it if I do shop in a big store – it is Costco. I did pick up a big supply of sticky notes for the teachers there because they were recycled. )


So many options from Terracycle!


photo 1 (39)

I also discovered the company Onyx and Green this weekend. Looks like you cannot buy their products online- but one to keep an eye out for in the stores!


3. Craft Supplies 

In Town:

KatieBeth’s Learning Garden

Scrap Exchange




photo (96)

(Tomatos and basil from Carrboro Farmer’s Market, Gluten Free Pita from Mediterranean Deli)

4. Lunchbox Goodies

Keeping them local and fresh are the best green tips I can give when it comes to snack time.

Weaver Street

Farmers’ Markets


5. Clothes

I found this article from Green America very helpful in understanding my choices.

Lots of fun local thrift shops out there!  Check out our list from a previous blog post.

Twig (almost every single pair of socks in my house are from Twig)

Can’t find the pattern you are looking for? How about create your own.. try any of the local fabric stores (Scrap Exchange ,

Mulberry Silks and Fine Fabrics and Thimble Pleasures). Or local Internet-based company, Spoonflower might be just what you need.


photo 1 (36)


7. Bike Transportation

Using foot or pedal power is better for you and the environment. Riding our bikes to school or walking has become a special family time for us. If you live too far from school – consider a walk or ride after school or even after dinner.

Back Alley Bikes (I bought my bike there)

Clean Machine/Bicycle Chain (I bought my daughter’s bike there)

Performance Bikes

PTA Thrift Shop




photo 1 (35)

(Found this goodie at the PTA Thrift Shop. Hoping the art teacher will enjoy this extra book)


We have found used books in all of these locations over the course of the past 9 years of living in Chapel Hill.

The Bookshop of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Library  (They do have a used bookstore in the downstairs section)

KatieBeth’s Learning Garden

PTA Thrift Shop

And if you are looking to clean out your bookshelves here are some worthy locations:

Your school library, classroom or PTA Used book sale may all be avenues

Book Harvest

 PTA Thrift Shop


What are some of the things you are doing to be green this school year?


2 thoughts on “Green Back to School Tips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s