School is around the corner. Here are some essentials that will help reduce the plastic waste commonly associated with back-to-school shopping, whether you’re about to finish elementary school or tackle your senior year of high school.
Full Circle’s reusable ziploc style bags are easy to wash and eliminate the need to buy dozens of disposable bags. They are also available in fun, playful prints if you want to brighten up lunchtime. New York-based Full Circle was one of the early adopters of eco-friendly home alternatives, featuring wooden brushes, walnut sponges and more.
When packing those lunches, use compostable kitchen garbage bags instead of plastic ones. Repurpose offers a discount on 60 trash (a 5-pack) liners. Instead of those bulky heavy-duty bags that sit in a landfill for years (with your trash in them), these are designed to break down in about a year. Sending them to a local composting facility will make them go down faster (3 to 6 months), and throwing them in your backyard compost pile will do that too (in about a year).
Moonshot’s sourdough crackers use regeneratively grown wheat (from farms they can trace back here in the US) that’s milled and baked nearby, meaning they’re easy on the carbon footprint. The company’s environmental goals in agriculture are in line with its packaging aspirations: housed in recycled paper boxes with a recyclable liner, the company is actively seeking compostable packaging. Best of all, they’re made with organic ingredients you can understand — no extraneous flavors or fillers.
Terra Thread specializes in organic cotton backpacks and accessories. So when you go back to school (or college), they probably have a bag that fits your needs. All of their bags are made from cotton that Terra Thread sources directly from organic farms in India and is then sent to a fair-trade certified factory for sewing. Whether it’s laptop sleeves, pencil pouches, fanny packs, or the classic backpack, consider one made of organic cotton rather than polyester (it will biodegrade eventually!).
For the morning smoothie or afternoon juice, consider packing a stainless steel juice in your lunch box. This simple swap, available on Thrive Market (in a 2-pack), will help reduce unnecessary plastic waste. Throw it in the dishwasher or in some hot water to clean and disinfect it.
Miir’s new Cold Brew Infuser fits smartly into their water bottles. Designed to make a cold cup of coffee, these can be easily adapted to tea and spices. So instead of stopping in every morning and buying a cup of coffee (in a disposable cup), consider taking it with you when it’s sweltering hot outside. A small brew overnight that takes just 5 minutes to assemble the night before can cut down on disposable cups.
If you’re looking for a new lunch box this year, this versatile stainless steel option will last you this school year and beyond. Available in a variety of configurations to meet your typical lunch needs, and is dishwasher friendly. Magnets ensure that both sides stay in place, and your food stays intact during lunch.