Green Tip: Recycled Back-to-School Supplies

by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: When you go shopping for back-to-school supplies, WDAY Green Tipsbuy recycled products whenever possible.

Last week we talked about avoiding school supplies that are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). Hopefully everyone is now armed with their own Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies created by The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ). This week we are taking it a step further. As you prepare for this year’s back-to-school shopping for your child’s supplies avoid PVC and look for recycled products.

According to, more than 75 million students are enrolled in the U.S. education system, and if each child used just one recycled item every school year, that would mean 75 million fewer pieces of garbage deposited in our landfills.

There are recycled, eco-friendly versions of nearly every classroom supply.

Pens (try Pilot Be Green or Zebra brands, both available at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot)

Pencils (try Zebra brand, available at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot, or Paper Mate Earthwrite brand, available at Office Max and Office Depot)

Highlighters (try Zebra brand, available at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot)

Folders in assorted colors (try the Office Depot brand or the Essette brand, available at Kmart)

Subject notebooks in assorted colors (try the Staples brand or College Rule brand, available at Target)

Manila file folders (try Essette brand, available at Office Depot and Kmart)

Box of tissues (try Marcal brand, available at Staples and Office Depot, as well as grocery stores)

Remember using even one recycled product this school year can have a huge impact on our earth.


This could even extend to back-to-school clothes shopping. Considering buying “recycled” clothing. Shop at a resale clothing store for some of your back-to-school clothes.

Once Upon A Child
Plato’s Closet
City of Fargo, Area Thrift Stores

My Green Side’s weekly web pick: provides teachers, administrators and parents with action plans for creating greener, healthier, more socially responsible schools and children.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a different favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at

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