While you’re soaking up some much-needed summer rays, the back to school season is right around the corner. While it’s important to start off the school year feeling totally equipped to take on the world, the sad reality is that many back to school products aren’t doing you or the planet any good.
In fact, the vast majority of back to school supplies are laden with harmful ingredients, swathed in layers of wasteful packaging, and produced using unfair labor practices.
The National Retail Federation predicts that this year’s back to school shopping will spike ten percent from last year, totaling a whopping $83.6 billion in spending. That’s right: $83.6 BILLION. And most of those products are taking a significant social and environmental toll.
Even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to distinguish between conventional and conscious brands. So what’s a back to school shopper to do?
Follow Turning Green’s Back to School Guide designed to help you put your dollars toward eco-friendly products with a positive impact. We have curated a checklist of some of our favorite conscious brands in the following categories:
- Body: We’ve found the safest options for what you put directly on your body, including soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and more.
- Home: From desk lamps to houseplants, our list will help you make your living space as green as can be!
- Active: Hit the gym with eco-conscious apparel and gear!
- Bath: Ethically made towels, bath robes, and shower shoes will help green morning and evening routines.
- Clean: Most cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to air pollution and are damaging to our health – not the case with our checklist!
- Sleep: You’ll sleep well knowing your sheets, pillowcases, and PJ’s are pesticide-free.
- Study: Hit the books with decompostable notebooks, eco-friendly backpacks, and recycled pencils.
- Wellness: Herbal supplements, natural pain relievers, and essential oils will help you feel your best all year round.
- Zero Waste: Reusable water bottles, food containers, and utensils make it easy to eat on the go without creating waste.
- Fashion: Go back to school with fashion in clothes and shoes that support a healthy planet!
- Tech: Solar chargers, compostable phone cases, and we promise your music will sound a lot better using bamboo headphones!
- Food: FLOSN (fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO) snacks and meals makes it easier than ever to nourish the body and mind.
We encourage you to buy less and shop smart while using Turning Green’s new Back-to-School Checklist as a guide. When shopping, you can assess your personal footprint and take practical steps to reduce it. Look for labels like USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Fair Trade, and 100% post-consumer recycled, as well as items that are second hand, recycled and upcycled. If you have to buy new products, consider our checklist your comprehensive guide to supporting businesses and companies that are doing right by people and planet. Download TG’s Back-to-School Checklist HERE.
Choosing ethical products over conventional brands means voting with your dollar. It means carving out a bigger piece of that $83.6 billion pie for conscious goods. It makes a statement that you care as much about what you’re putting in, on and around your body as you do about how those products impact your community, and the earth as a whole.