Like all good things, Summer must come to an end, and seeing as it is August, the end is near. Summer’s “goodbye” is the school year’s “hello!” Whether you like it or not, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare for that first day back, and that means shopping for school supplies! Do you have your pens and pencils ready? How does your backpack fit? Are your notebooks clean and ready to be filled with new facts and interesting stories? As you ponder all of these questions and many more, add another: Do you want to keep the Earth in mind and pick sustainable school supplies this year?


 If your answer to the last question is “yes!” (which it should!) then you’ve come to the right place! If you’re looking for pencils made from recycled material, you can pick up some from Smencils or Tree Smart, and they’re made from 100% recycled newspapers. If growing fun new plants is your thing, try Sprout and plant your pencil when it gets too short to be used. Make a mistake and need to erase something? Green Apple Recycled Erasers are made from 100% recycled rubber. When instead of erasing you need things to stand out, grab a 100% recycled highlighter.  For your artistic needs, Onyx and Green have recycled colored pencils At the end of the day you’ll need to keep all of your supplies in one place, so grab a Blue Q pencil case made from 95% post-consumer material, and 1% of the sale of all Blue Q bags supports environmental initiatives around the globe!


 Naturally the next step after getting all of your new writing utensils is finding the best notebooks and papers to go with them! Pick up a Decomposition Book, a composition notebook made with 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages. For all of your organizing needs, get some chipboard binders from Terracycle, some 100% recycled Oxford folders, and some 100% recycled tab dividers. A staple-free stapler is what you need to keep things together while being eco-friendly! Keep your notes handy with recycled post-it notes. Everything you need can be kept in backpacks made from recycled material from Terracycle or EcoGear!

Did someone say lunch time? It’s still one of the most exciting parts of the day. When getting your lunch packed, instead of aluminum foil or plastic wrap that goes to waste each day, try some re-usable options such as stainless steel lunchboxes and eco-friendly bento boxes you can try. Cloth napkins work just as well as disposable ones, and you can get them in cool designs and colors! Bamboo knives, forks, and spoons are also great additions to your re-usable lunch ensemble. To make sure that you’re staying hydrated all day, grab a re-usable stainless steel water bottle which can keep your drinks as cold (or as hot!) as you need all day long. Don’t forget, there are plenty of options for eco-friendly lunch boxes too, like this one from TerraCycle that’s made of recycled juice pouches!

 There are so many things to be excited about with the new school year around the corner, and we hope that you’ll take a moment or two (or as many as you can!) to think about the Earth as you get your school supplies in order. It’s up to us to protect our home, and every little bit counts. From all of us at the Hudson County Improvement Authority, we wish you a Happy, Healthy & Green School Year!


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