Eco-Friendly Back to School Supplies Guide

Good for you for being interested i learning how to do better for the earth while supplying your kids what they need for their education. We have lot of options now for reusable and/or sustainable school supplies than ever before.

Book Covers

We use stretchy cloth book covers. They have smaller and larger ones available. They stretch easily over my kids textbooks and don’t fall off. They’re washable, reusable, and come in lots of colors and designs. We have several book covers that have been around for several years. I think we’ve had one get a hole in it but they can be easily repurposed into hair ties, hacky-sacks, barbie doll clothes, or whatever you can think of. You can find them in-store at Walmart too really cheap.

Snacks

Our school allows our children to bring in snacks. We can send them in daily, weekly or for the entire month. Reusable snack bags are not only eco-friendly, but also saves money in the long run. I have 4 kids, I can go through a box of sandwich bags or freezer bags in a blink. Even buying the generic brand it adds up.

There are clear reusable snack bags that look more like the normal sandwich bags and freezer bags. Then there are cloth reusable food storage bags that come in fun designs.

Pencils

There are lots of options for more earth friendly pencils. There are plantable pencils, pencils made from recycled newspaper, and if you just have to have a mechanical pencils there are even mechanical pencils made from bamboo.

If you’re a pencil snob and just have to have the Ticonderoga brand #2 pencils well Ticonderoga envirostik is your answer. It’s a natural wood pencil from “responsibly managed” forests. And still the #2 designation.

Erasers

This one seems to be harder to find but not impossible. A company called Onyx and Green make erasers made from recycled rubber.

Glue

It seems Elmer’s used to make a natural glue but I can’t seem to find it available anywhere which makes me wonder if they stopped making it. But that doesn’t mean you have to. I found this great recipe for easy homemade glue. You can reuse an old glue bottle or use another similar reusable squeeze bottle. I’m even wondering if a clean, empty mustard bottle would work? What do you think?

Crayons and Colored Pencils

The elementary kids tend to use the crayons more while the teens seem to use the colored pencils more.

There are several choices for environmentally friendly crayons. There are crayons with reduced packaging as well as crayons made from beeswax.

You can even repurpose broken crayons you have by melting crayon stubs down and creating new chunky crayons. For mine I used a mini muffin tin for the shapes.

Onyx and Green comes through again with earth friendly colored pencils made from recycled newspaper.

Just FYI, for markers, Crayola has a program called Colorcycle for schools where schools can collect unusable markers and send them back to crayola for marker recycling.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


School Days Giveaway Hop: $10 Starbucks Gift Card

Welcome to the School Days giveaway hop! This August event is hosted by Savings in Seconds. Host and participating bloggers are not responsible for prizes not delivered by sponsors. Good luck!

I honestly have mixed feeling about sending my kids back to school. I often feel like the oddball mom because I honestly am not looking forward to my kids going back to school. I enjoy having them home. There’s no homework stress, no projects due, no forgetting to pack snacks or worrying about “dress like the 80s day”. Back to school means my life gets hectic. Making sure I get back home on time to get my kids off the bus. Juggling my older boys’ football practice and games with homework, open house, meet the teacher night, and calendars for everyone.

But there are things I do look forward to. I enjoy the fall, I love Halloween, I do find some enjoyment in the 2 hours I have to myself until my kids get home from school. Then there’s fall fashion. I love layering, cardigans, boots, and light jackets. I’m not big on the pumpkin spice train but I do love sitting on the porch with a warm fall drink watching the leaves fall.

I want to treat one of you to one of my fave fall moments by giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card!

GIVEAWAY

School Days Giveaway Hop

Now Check out these other fun giveaways from even more bloggers:


FREE Crayola Products for Back To School After Cash Back!

New TopCashBack members can get a selection of Crayola products from Walmart for FREE after cash back. With Walmart’s prices right now for back to school items you really could get a decent selection. I have 2 kids in elementary school and two kids in high school this year and they all end up using the heck out of the Crayola products I buy. The younger kids need them for coloring activities, journaling for school etc while the older kids usually use the colored pencils for graphing, art projects etc. Markers are used by all my kids for posters and projects or school.

I find myself using them to color code our calendars, spend some time with my younger kids, doing crafts, etc. My point is, what household couldn’t use free Crayola products?

Step 1:  
Click Here to Get Started. Join TopCashback and signup for a FREE account if you haven’t already.

  • Important: Check your email to confirm your email address. Click on the link in your email to authenticate your new account.

Step 2:
Click on the pink “Get Offer Now Button

Step 3:
Add any Crayola products from Walmart totaling $10.00 or more to your cart and head to checkout.  You must spend at least $10.00 to get this deal. 

  • TIP: Want to purchase more than $10.00?  Make a second transaction instead of adding more to an existing cart to maximize additional cash back.
  • Do not close the window, open any new tabs, or use non-TopCashback approved coupons while checking out.
  • Free In-Store Pick Up & Free Shipping over $35+

Step 4:
Pay $10.00 or more.  That’s it!  The $12.00 will post to your TopCashback account within 14 days, and the amount will become payable.  Cash back can be credited straight to your checking or PayPal account.

  • Note: Transactions must contain at least $10.00 worth of purchases to ensure the $12.00 cash back is credited to TopCashback accounts. Transactions may initially track lower, but within the 14 days after purchase it will be uplifted and turn payable at the amount of $12.00. Transactions may take up to 7 days to appear in your TopCashback account. The deal is open until 11:59pm PST on 8/18/2019 or until supplies run out; whichever happens first; applicable for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback. Only one TopCashback account is permitted per member. 

The Best Sites to Find Back To School Clothes Deals

It’s about that time for back to school clothes shopping. With 4 kids, my budget for back to school shopping could easily get out of hand if I wasn’t a deal hunter. I thought I’d share the best places online to find back to school clothes deals with you. Places to find name brand clothes without paying name brand prices.

Athletic Wear Deals

My oldest son lives in athletic shorts while my middle son lives in athletic shorts and athletic pants. They love their Nike, Under Armour, Reebok, ADIDAS, and other brands. These brands can be expensive and it’s sometimes hard to find a real deal but this is stuffed full of bargains.

Proozy offers all the name brands I offered and many more. You’ll also find Northface, Columbia, Puma, Oakley, Birkenstock and lots more. This is my go-to site for athletic wear for my family. Amazing deals. I just got a 4 pack of Reebok boxer briefs for both my older boys for only $12.99 each and free shipping with code PZYSHIP which expires 8/7/19.

New to You

There is nothing wrong with gently used clothes. I buy them often, especially for myself. I’ve bought a few pair of shorts, hoodies, and even shoes from this next site. They have every day deals as low as $3 and often have coupon codes available to save even more! They even have some school uniforms available.

Schoola.com

Schoola is an online consignment store offering clothes for kids, women, men, and more. If you’ve never shopped Schoola before, you can save 50% off your first order with code: FIRST50OFF this code does not have an expiration date.

When Name Brand Doesn’t Matter

There are plenty of clothing companies out there that aren’t name brand but still have good quality clothes. Did you know that Amazon has their own line of clothing called Amazon Essentials. You can find Amazon Essentials for boys and Amazon Essentials for girls. This includes school uniforms!

There’s also Prime Wardrobe which has a special section for back to school. You’ll be sent a box of clothes in the size and gender you choose. Keep only what you like, send the rest back.

Don’t forget that qualifying college/university students can get Amazon Prime Student for 50% off for 6 months!

The Deal Treasure Hunt

There are several sites that offer exciting deals that are every changing. Maybe they have a deal up for Under Armour but it will only last for 3 days, maybe they have a deal up Hush Puppy shoes but it ends tonight. These type of sites are typically referred to as daily deal sites.

One of my fave daily deal sites is Zulily. It’s worth checking out at least a few days a week. Right now they have deals on school uniforms, graphic shirts, back to school workbooks, and more. But the deals won’t last long.

Ebay actually has a Daily Deals section which has become one of my new favorite places to shop. I actually got my youngest son an ADIDAS shirt and hoodie that he loves. Often times they’re deals direct from the manufacturer and offer free shipping. Plus you can use PayPal to check out.

Make Your Own Deals

Cash back sites are competing for your business. While one site might offer more cash back at JC Penney, and other site might offer more cash back at Target. Where you choose to shop there’s a good chance there’s a site offering cash back for you. Stack cash back offers with coupon codes and that can lead to big savings!

Here are my fave cash back sites (they’re all free).

  • TopCashBack – Consistently high cash back lots of choices for payout options
  • Rakuten – formerly Ebates, lists coupon codes with cash back pays every 4 months if you have at least $5 in your account
  • BeFrugal – Deal posts and high cash back rates
  • Giving Assistant – allows you to donate some of your cash back to your favorite charity if you wish.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links at no extra cost to you. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Back To School Bus Safety Reminder

My kids will be starting back to school towards the end of this month. My heart always breaks at the stories of kids that get hit by cars getting on or off the bus. As a parent I think there are things we can do to help our kids too.

When possible watch your kids until the get on the bus. Especially elementary school age. I do this not just because of the danger of getting hit by a car but also because of the kidnapping stories too. (So much to worry about anymore right?)

Teaching our kids about looking both ways before crossing the street. My kids don’t have to cross the road. They’re picked up at the bottom of our driveway but lot kids do have to cross at least one street to get to their bus stop or get home.

Password. I’ll be honest this isn’t one thing we’ve established yet but I really need to. I’ve heard stories of kids avoiding stranger danger because of using a password. The idea is to use a word they’ll remember and if someone tries to pick them up they ask them for the password. IF they don’t know they password the kid knows not to go with them.

Avoid putting your child’s name on their clothing and backpacks where it’s visible. I label my kids items but I’ll put it inside the backpack, inside their shoes, or on the tag of their shirt.

For driving safety tips for back to school check out my post on reedman toll blog.