Whether your kids are returning to school in person or online, there are amazing choices for back to school that are less toxic and more sustainable - safer for you, your kids, your home and the environment.
And before I launch into my favorites and picks for fun and stylish while being cleaner, safer and more sustainable, can we agree as the adults to promote a positive atmosphere for our kids? Your kids are going to follow your lead so let's ALL be good students with good attitudes, by being prepared and by being willing and ready to learn and adapt. These are difficult times for many, but our kids deserve the best attitude and atmosphere we can offer.
BACKPACKS! Having an appropriate sized backpack helps kids keep all of their school items together. Even if your students are staying home to learn virtually, you may need them to pack up their school supplies each afternoon from the kitchen table.
Check out Rareform for backpacks and lunch totes and lots of other bags made from recycled billboards! Super cool, right?! This company has saved almost 3 million pounds of billboards from ending up in the landfill. And they have super cool fanny packs for kids and moms!
Another great option for backpacks is Patagonia. Patagonia continues to put their money and their mouth where needed for environmental work.
SNACKS! Support healthier snacks for the school day and for after school. Slowly and subtly switch over to more plant based, safe-ingredient foods in the pantry. Not all of the changes are going to be a hit, but some will click with your kids and will be items that they continue to ask for! We love Mary's Crackers and Good Planet Foods cheddar slices for a simple cheese and crackers snack.
Dried organic fruit and nuts are a great option for fiber and protein. Check out sunandswellfoods.com as their products are in compostable packaging and you can choose as an option at checkout to offset the carbon footprint of shipping for under a dollar donation.
Manage all these snacks with sustainable storage bags from Stasher! End your reliance on plastic one use bags.
ORGANIZE! Before school starts (or as soon as you can after it starts), get organized. Make sure each person in your home has a space for learning that is set up just for him or her. Just like you want your office to be somewhere that you are comfortable and that is inspiring, so should a child's learning space.
A young child's school space/desk could be as simple as a place mat at the table that is specially for him or her. Consider having a place mat that can be drawn on or doodled on. Let your student decorate it with their name and stickers. This could be made from something as simple as a large brown paper roll made from 100% recycled materials.
Is your home a wreck after the summer and you need professional help decluttering and organizing? Contact a professional. I suggest https://www.homereimaginedrva.com/ or https://www.theneatniche.com/ Tell Ashley at Home Reimagined or Erin at Neat Niche that Becky sent ya, and they will take good care of you!
ADD SOME COLOR! Everybody loves new crayons, markers, pencils or pens. I love these crayons for the little ones (approximately ages 3 - 7): Crazy Crayons Eco Stars. Fits perfect in a child's hand for coloring inside the lines or doodling. When one start gets dull, just turn to the next point. Fun to color with 2 points at the same time, making parallel lines. These star crayons are made with crayons collected by the National Crayon Recycle Program. The purchase of this product supports "Recycling Education" and employs people with developmental disabilities, creating a positive earth conscious impact through the art of coloring and recycling! Crayons and packaging are made in USA with 100% recycled non-toxic materials.
For wanna be students ages 1 to 3, get non toxic Honeybee 'crayons'.
For older elementary school age kids and middle school kids who need pencils, check out Ticonderoga's eco friendly pencils or use mechanical pencils where you just replace the lead for more sustainability. And for colored pencils for this age, order this Onyx and Green 24 pack made from recycled paper.
And for mom, grab you some new SAFER color from Beautycounter with the launch last week of the new Beyond Gloss lip glosses in 9 new colors and the new Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick. Both with responsibly sourced vanilla. I am so excited that the Rosewood shade that I love is now a permanent part of the Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick line. This gives me a hint of color and shine with all the moisture of a lip balm.
This is me with the new Spice shade of Beyond Gloss.
Finally, let me repeat my mantra that there are so many great cleaner choices these days - including great choices of products for getting ready for school. When you can, look to cleaner and brighter options instead of just falling back into the same routine of what you usually purchase.
More questions? Let's answer them in a helpful one on one consultation: https://www.cleanandbrightwithbecky.com/book-online