School is around the corner. Here are some essentials that’ll help reduce the plastic waste that usually comes with back-to-school shopping, whether you’re about to finish off elementary school or tackle your last 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 also come in fun, playful prints if you want to jazz up lunch time. New York-based Full Circle was one of the early adopters of eco-friendly alternatives for the home, offering wooden brushes, walnut sponges, and more.
When packing those lunches, use compostable trash bags in the kitchen, rather than plastic ones. Repurpose offers a discount on 60 trash (a 5-pack) liners. Instead of those thick heavy-duty bags that will sit in a dump site for years (with your trash in it), these are designed to break down in about a year’s time. If you send them off to a local composting facility, they’ll bring down faster (3 to 6 months), and if you throw them in your backyard compost pile, that’ll work too (in about a year).
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Moonshot’s Sourdough crackers use regeneratively-grown wheat (from farms that they can trace back to here in the US) that’s milled and baked nearby, meaning they’re easy on the carbon footprint. The company’s eco-forward goals in agriculture match its packaging aspirations: housed in recycled paper boxes with a recyclable liner, the company is actively looking for compostable packaging. Best of all, they’re made with organic ingredients you can understand — no strange flavorings or fillers.
Terra Thread specializes in organic cotton backpacks and accessories. So if you’re back to school (or college), they’ll likely have a bag that will match your needs. All their bags are made with cotton that Terra Thread sources directly from organic farms in India and is then sent to a fair trade certified factory for stitching. Whether it’s laptop covers, pencil pouches, fanny packs or the classic backpack, consider one made of organic cotton instead of polyesters (it’ll eventually biodegrade!).
For the morning smoothie, or afternoon juice, consider carrying a stainless steel juice in your lunch box. This simple swap, available on Thrive Market (in a 2-pack), will help cut down on unnecessary plastic waste. Throw it in the dishwasher or in some hot water to clean and disinfect.
Miir’s new Cold Brew Infuser cleverly fits into their water bottles. Designed to create a coffee cold brew, these could easily be adapted to tea and herbs. So instead of stopping and buying a coffee (in a disposable cup) each morning, consider taking this with you when it’s sweltering outside. A little overnight brew that takes just 5 minutes to put together the night before could reduce the use of 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 many more. Comes in a variety of configurations to match your typical lunch needs, and is dishwasher friendly. Magnets ensure that both sides will stay put, and your food will be in tact come lunchtime.