Back to school season is almost upon us, and while returning to the classroom might not be possible for all students, two things remain the same in this time of uncertainty: the importance of educating our youth and protecting the planet for their futures.
This year’s plastic-free back to school not only features a variety of sustainable products for eco-minded students and parents, we also include a number of educational resources to compliment your child’s learning, whether it takes place at home or in the classroom.
#NOTPLASTIC is an online store with a variety of reusable alternatives to single-use plastic. They even have carbon neutral delivery through reforestation.
Reusable Cutlery for Kids – A safe and healthy alternative to plastic cutlery, these adorable reusable forks and spoons are perfect for packing into school lunches. They are specifically designed for small hands and mouths and they are made from USDA certified organic bamboo.
Abeego picks up where the peel leaves off. Their beeswax food wraps protect and breathe like nature’s peel and preserve food.
Beeswax Wrap – Abeego offers plastic-free wraps in a variety of sizes, so they are any eco-minded lunch-packing parent’s dream come true. They are great for sandwiches, partial or whole fruits, veggies, and more.
Bee Bagz is an innovative manufacturer of sustainably produced and environmentally friendly food storage solutions. Their mission is to contribute to the zero waste movement by providing customers with socially responsible alternatives that result in a notable reduction in overall single-use plastic.
Snack Pack – If you like beeswax wraps then you will LOVE these beeswax bags. Reusable and biodegradable, these are a great alternative to single-use plastic bags.
BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.
Chalkboard – Revolutionize screentime with this wooden toy chalkboard tablet made by little miss workbench. Make learning fun and watch your child’s imagination come to life with this unique learning tool.
Chico Bag offers a variety of reusable solutions to help prevent pollution from single-use plastic. With their partner brand To-Go Ware, they have saved an estimated 18 billion single-use items from entering the waste stream.
Snack Time Bags – Just one of these cute reusable bags can replace 1,825 single-use plastic bags throughout its life, and each set includes three. Reduce plastic pollution in style with these adjustable, reusable bags.
EcoBags is a Certified B Corporation that offers a variety of reusable bags that help prevent plastic pollution. All of their products are certified by the (GOTS), meaning their cotton not only meets high-level environmental and supply chain certifications, but also complies with social criteria.
Organic Cotton Lunch Box – These reusable lunchboxes are made out of 100% organic cotton and are even customizable so your child can create their very own design.
ECOlunchbox specializes in plastic-free food containers designed to help people reduce their dependence on plastics for health and environmental reasons.
Splash Box and Pods Set – Completely leak-proof and plastic-free, this terrific three-piece set of metal lunchbox containers includes one Splash Box and two coordinating Splash Pods.
Faherty is a family business dedicated to crafting great products that last a lifetime. They produce quality products that honor both their customers and the planet.
Masks – Make sure your kids suit up in style with one of these soft, lightweight face masks from Faherty. The accordion design and elastic bands make it easy to wear, even for the most finicky of kids.
Final, the creator of the innovative FinalStraw, creates a range of ‘Foreverables’ that reduce the need for plastics, empower individuals to change their buying habits, and raise awareness of the impacts of our everyday decisions.
Final Fork – One of the newest offerings from Final is the Final Fork, a reusable, collapsable fork that is perfect for tucking into a lunchbox. Check out their Indiegogo to pre-order yours now.
Khala & Company
Khala & Company is a Colorado-based company that makes vegan and beeswax wraps for food on the go. They are also a Green America certified business and a member of 1% for the Planet.
Beeswax Wraps – Khala Cloths’ beeswax wraps are a great way to store and carry food without resorting to polluting plastic cling wrap. In addition to eliminating the need for single-use plastic wrap, you can feel great about using Khala Cloths because their beeswax is sourced from sustainable, bee-friendly apiaries in their local Colorado area.
Klean Kanteen is a family owned business that makes non-toxic, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet, so you can feel great when you buy their high quality reusable water bottles.
Kid Classic Sport 12oz Water Bottle – This stainless steel water bottle was designed with active kids in mind. It features a spill proof sports cap with a dust cover, a soft silicone spout and loop so it can be easily attached to a bag or backpack. It comes in a variety of bright colors and fun graphics, and the chip-resistant finish is extra durable, making it safe for people and the planet.
Lefico is a Vancouver-based business with one major goal: to save the world from plastic pollution. To that end, they make high quality, affordable reusable alternatives to common plastic items.
Telescopic Straw With Carrying Case – This is another eco-friendly gadget that is a big hit with the kiddos. Small enough to fit on a keychain and made from dishwasher safe stainless steel, this telescopic straw is the perfect addition to any environmentally-friendly lunch box.
Life Without Plastic
Life Without Plastic is an online store with a large selection of items that help people eliminate plastic from their lives.
Adjustable Juco Sandwich Bag – This exclusive sandwich bag is made of juco, a new eco fabric composed of 75% jute and 25% cotton. It offers the best properties of jute, such as durability and water resistance, while having a finer weave and softer texture thanks to the presence of cotton. It is strong and reusable and its high jute content–the production of which has a low carbon and water footprint–makes its overall environmental impact very low.
Lunch Bag – This lunch bag really is the whole package: it is 100% plastic free (unlike most lunch bags), insulated, and it is washable! This bag is made from one of Life Without Plastic’s most trusted ethical manufacturers who strives to provide only the highest quality materials and finished product. The cotton is even GOTS certified.
Stainless Steel Folding Spork – This super handy and extra compact foldable spork is absolutely perfect for school lunches! It is small enough to be packed inside a lunch box or even kept in a pocket. Kids love this fun and practical alternative to single-use plastic utensils.
Founded by a mother of two sons, LunchBots offers zero waste food containers that are easy to pack and that last a lifetime.
Bento Box – LunchBots offers stainless steel bento boxes in a range of sizes and with a variety of compartment options. These handy boxes are thoughtfully designed to make it easy to add variety to your child’s lunch without the need for tons of single-use plastic bags.
Made By Bees
Made By Bees is a producer of all-natural, Canadian-made honey and handmade beeswax products. They strive to save bees, the planet, and our food.
“Bee Kind” Buttoned Wrap – This adorable buttoned beeswax bag is a fun and reusable replacement for single-use plastic sandwich bags.
Rewilder is a sustainable fashion brand that finds beauty in discarded materials and upcycles them into products that highlight their strength and durability. This women-owned and operated fashion brand ethically manufactures their quality in their Los Angeles studio using only repurposed and upcycled materials.
Backpack – Believe it or not, this stylish backpack was made entirely out of upcycled auto airbags and seatbelts! Durable and water resistant, this backpack features a 15-inch laptop sleeve and a dual-zip main compartment. Bonus: this product is PETA approved vegan.
Stasher offers a range of reusable silicone bags that are better for you and better for the planet than single-use plastic baggies. Stasher is also a member of 1% for the Planet, which means that they donate 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits.
Sandwich Bag – Made with non-toxic, 100% pure platinum silicone, the Stasher sandwich bag is a total crowd pleaser and a lunchbox essential. These bags are endlessly reusable as they are both dishwasher and microwave safe.
To-Go Ware/Life Without Plastic
To-Go Ware provides sustainable solutions to the convenience of our “to-go” culture. Their goal is to make the “throw-away” mentality a thing of the past. Their products are innovative, safe, environmentally responsible, affordable and convenient. To-Go Ware makes it easy to choose to reuse.
Bamboo Utensil Set – This handy bamboo utensil set features a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks all conveniently tucked in a pouch with a carabiner so it is perfect for people on the go. Lightweight, strong, and heat & stain resistant, these utensils will last a lifetime without imparting or absorbing flavors. Even the holder is eco-friendly as it is made out of recycled PET plastic bottles.
U-Konserve was started by two mothers who wanted to find environmentally conscious solutions to packed school lunches. They knew that common single-use baggies and drink cartons were destined for landfill, so they created a waste-free lunch kit, and shortly after U-Konserve was born! To this day they offer durable, long-lasting products that offer innovative solutions to eco-minded parents and kids.
NEW Stainless Steel & Silicone To-Go Containers – U-Konserve’s trusted stainless steel containers now come with plastic-free, clear-as-glass silicone lids! These are the perfect waste-free solution for eco-friendly lunches. Leak-proof and dishwasher safe, these containers are popular with kids and parents alike.
Wild Minimalist is an online story for people who are striving to live a plastic-free, zero waste lifestyle.
Organic Biodegradable Bandaids – Handy, eco-friendly and super cute, these organic and biodegradable bandaids are great for stashing in your kiddo’s backpack.
Wisdom Supply Co.
Wisdom Supply Co. is a Certified B Corporation that believes that waste is a design flaw. It is this conviction that drives them to curate and create school supplies that prevent waste, for good.
3-Ring Binders – Decades upon decades worth of disposable vinyl binder contribute to the global plastic pollution crisis. These sturdy cardboard binders with removable covers are designed to stay out of the waste stream altogether. Should the need arise for a fresh cover, simply remove the tattered cover, place it in the recycling bin, and attach a new cover!
- Check out Nat Geo Wild’s new panda-centric TV series The Hidden Kingdoms of China
- Watch Birds and Butterflies in Your Backyard – A Kid-Friendly Webinar
- Tune in to Master Classes from Female Filmmakers
- Visit the Free Video Library (featuring engaging presentations from some of the most innovative minds in STEM) for Remote Learning from USA Science & Engineering Festival
- Discover a wealth of information on plastic pollution and curriculum for children of all ages, including links to show educational videos, music, art projects, and feature documentary films
- Take one or more of 20 Virtual Field Trips to zoos, aquariums, museums, and more
- Take a class with Coursera
- Learn a language with Rosetta Stone, Babbel, or Duolingo
- Check out the Smithsonian Learning Lab
- Learn to draw via Instagram Stories with Wendy MacNaughton
- Watch Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! a daily art break for home-bound families
- Check out The Kennedy Center’s art education Classroom Resources
- Scholastic Education Resources
- Take free courses from Ivy League schools