Green and cool back to school supplies list

Before you shell out for new school supplies, be on the lookout for greener options

The waste-free lunch kit from


Before you shell out for disposable pens, toxic art supplies, or non-recycled paper, be on the lookout for greener options


You can easily find recycled scissors, biodegradable corn rulers and Post-it notes made from recycled paper. And there are plenty of other cool and green school supply options out there too. Check out our list to help with your shopping.


Earthzone HB and Coloured Pencils

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According to Earthzone’s website, forests the size of 90 tennis courts are cut down every minute to supply wood for pencils, and every year 14 billion pencils are thrown away. Earthzone pencils are made from recycled newspaper, which means no raw materials are used. “By reusing a four-foot stack of newspapers, one 40-foot pine tree can be saved.” Not only are these pencils cool, they are made in Vancouver.


ReBinder Three Ring Binders

The vinyl binder is a ubiquitous classroom item which results in a whole lot of waste. A Seattle-based company, ReBinder has tackled the problem by making a fully recyclable and reusable three-ring binder. The cover can be replaced and recycled when it wears out (or when the semester ends and your child switches classes).


ReMark Pens

ReMark (made by the same people that brought us ReBinder) is composed of sustainable wood- (or cotton-) based Cellulose Acetate polymer and plant-based plasticizer. You can even send back used-up ReMark pens for them to be “upcycled” into new ones.


Clementine soy crayons

Traditional crayons are made from petroleum byproducts and use artificial dyes to colour them. Soy crayons such as the Clementine brand use soy wax and mineral pigments for a more natural and sustainable product.


Kidskonserve Lunch Sacks

You could put together a similar lunch kit yourself—but Kidskonserve’s waste free lunch kit is really pretty great. It comes with the bag, a water bottle, two reusable containers, a napkin and more. The company also carries an insulated sack that is made of recycled materials and is lead- and BPA-free.


Ecojot Notebooks and Agendas

Check out this company’s cute selection of Canadian-made, 100% post-consumer recycled paper products. Not only are they good for the environment, but Ecojot will donate a notebook to poor students in developing countries for every Ecojot journal, jumbo journal and sketchbook purchased.


Crayola Markers

Even the big companies are getting a little bit greener and starting to use recycled content. Look for Crayola’s black barreled markers (the barrel colour is the key to knowing the pen is made with recycled plastic). The 10-ct. Broadline Classic Colors, 10-ct. Broadline Assorted Colors, 10-ct. Fineline Classic Colors, 8-ct. Washable Broadline and 8-ct. Washable Fineline are some of the 500 million markers being made with recycled bottle caps.


Recycled printer paper

This might be an obvious one, but big retailers like Staples are now carrying recycled paper for good prices. Look for acid-free papers with 100% post-consumer content.


Where can you find this cool stuff?

The Vancouver-based office supply company Frogfile has a Student Program. They provide $10 off all school supply orders over $100. You can find non-vinyl binders, recycled paper, post-consumer pens, low odour liquid paper, soy crayons, refillable highlighters and more.


EcoConvenience is a Vancouver-based, green business that carries a range of products including backpacks made from recycled fabrics, lunch bags, art markers and recycled computer speakers.


Have you found any great sustainable or locally made products to send your kids back to school with? We’d love to hear about them.