A Sustainable Back-to-School Guide

DenaAugust 24, 2022

It is that time again. Summer is fading. The sound of the cricket’s song grows louder with each passing day. The colors in nature are shifting. The days grow shorter. We are on that most precious cusp of the golden hour of the year.

Soon my little ones will be donning their new sneakers, loading up their backpacks and heading out the door. I will watch them walk away with both tears of gratitude and sadness in my eyes. This dance that we have been doing for some 6 years now, how blessed we are!

This year I have approached our back-to-school shopping very differently than in years past. Finding ways to shop sustainably has been so heavy on my heart. Reducing our family’s carbon footprint is more important to me than ever. I want to support companies that nurture the earth as much as possible. This is especially true when it comes to things that happen annually, like back-to-school shopping.

Today I will share 6 of the back-to-school choices that I made this year. Each of these items are functional and I am happy to stand behind thee companies that make them and the work they are doing. Please check out these companies and support their work if you are able to.

Below are the products that I chose this year and a bit about the important reasons why I support these companies wholeheartedly.

Our Backpack Choice for the Year: Terra Thread

Terra Thread’s vision is create the world’s most affordable, durable, sustainable, and ethically produced backpacks and bags, while having a positive impact on the world. Their products are made using Fairtrade cotton and are produced in a Fair Trade Certified Factory, ensuring safe working conditions and fair pay for farmers and workers. Their entire supply chain is traceable and transparent. Terra Thread
is completely carbon neutral, offsetting CO2 that we use by supporting either reforestation, renewable energy or social impact projects!

We will be using their sustainable backpacks and let me tell you, these things are sturdy. I can already tell that these backpacks will last for years and years, possible forever. They are so well-made, it’s hard to even describe. Roman has the tidal blue color and Marina has the floral pattern. They love these packs and so do I. I could not be more happy with these and especially about the incredible work that Terra Threads is doing.

Our Bento Box Choice for the Year: The Dearest Grey

If you have ever packed school lunches then you know what a juggling act it can be. The is the sandwich, the snacks, the healthy bits, etc. etc. A lot goes into those little lunch bags! If you use disposable plastic, it quickly becomes a mess of garbage and clutter.

When my kids started school, I knew that I needed an alternative to the plastic bags and I am so grateful that I found The Dearest Grey Bento Boxes for this purpose. I absolutely love these boxes. They eliminate my need for wasteful plastic in school lunches. On top of that they are so beautiful! We have their silicone bento boxes in cloud blue and rosewood. They are beautiful, functional and so well-made. They’re unbreakable, reusable, and made with 100% food-grade silicone making for easy cleaning after sitting in backpacks for hours. They’re also freezer and microwave safe, and can go in the oven up to 410 degrees.

I am also so happy to support not just because I love the products, but I also love the heart behind them. Summer is a mama from Oklahoma who started the company as a hobby. She had just moved from Texas to Oklahoma at 7 months pregnant when she started making pacifier clips at her kitchen table. And that is how the company got started. Such a sweet dream realized!

Our Lunch Bag Choice of the Year: Ekolojee

I love this waxed canvas lunch bag. It’s made from naturally grown GOTS-certified organic canvas and free of harmful chemicals. Ekolojee uses no plastics anywhere in their products or or packaging. They aim to be truly sustainable and zero waste.

Our Pencil Bag Choice of the Year: Santa Playa

I love this hemp pencil case from Santa Playa. It’s simple, practical and sustainably made by artisans in Antigua, Guatemala. Their products are hand-cut and hand-stitched using traditional methods and tools.

Our Notebook Choice of the Year: Mintra

When choosing notebooks for this school year I wanted to find something made from 100% recycled material. I went with these recycled notebooks from Mintra because the covers are made from 100% recycled Kraft paper and the sheets are made from sugarcane stock and the brown lines are made from vegetable oil ink. So not only are they made with recycled material, but they will also be easily biodegradable and will no damage the earth as they break down.

Our Sneaker Choice of the Year: VEJA

Finally, my choice for sustainable sneakers is VEJA. It is an amazing, socially and ecologically conscious company. On top of that, their sneakers are just gorgeous and extremely high-quality. Since 2005, VEJA has been creating sneakers in a different way, mixing social projects, economic justice, and ecological materials. VEJA uses Brazilian and Peruvian organic cotton for the canvas and laces, Amazonian rubber for the soles, and various innovative materials conceived in recycled plastic bottles or recycled polyester. VEJA is the first sneaker brand to use fabric entirely made from recycled plastic bottles. There is so much to say about the environmental work that VEJA is doing that it would take me an entire post to write about it all, but you can take a look for yourself right here.

Okay, friends! That’s it for this year’s sustainable back-to-school guide! I really want to encourage you to consider shopping sustainably this year. I understand that it can be a little bit more expensive sometimes, but consider the impact that you are having on the earth. Additionally, these products that I am recommending are truly high-quality. Sometimes investing in a higher quality product costs you less in the long run because you are not constantly running out to replace things. It’s such a worthwhile trade-off.

I hope that you and your family have a beautiful, magical start to the school year. xo

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