Here's a confession: I did not buy any eco-friendly school supplies this year. Why? Here are a few of my excuses:
- There isn't a lot available at mass merchandisers or office supply stores. Sure they have a few recycled paper products but they are few and far between.
- I am not organized enough to order supplies online and actually get them in time for the start of school.
- Last year I bought an eco-friendly, PVC-free binder and it fell apart within a couple months.
- The school supply lists ask for specific products that are not available in eco-friendly versions.
- Eco-friendly supplies are more expensive and it's really hard to pass up the deals on super-cheap notebooks and crayons when you have to buy a ton of stuff at once.
OK, so now you know the truth. But here's what I do feel good about: We reused a whole bunch of school supplies from years past. Basically, we went shopping in our own home, before we headed to the store. My 6th grader Drew was especially excited about this. He went through his old notebooks and tore out used pages, he rounded up pencils, erasers and markers. He found glue sticks that still worked. He even got mad at me for wanting to buy some new notebooks for his brother.
All in all, I don't feel too bad about our school supply situation, although next year I vow to plan ahead and at least order some Naked Binders - which I've heard are very durable.
Do you ever reuse school supplies? Are there some things that you feel you need to buy new every year? What eco-friendly school supplies have you purchased?