As students and teachers head back to school, we want to remind you about the importance of incorporating eco-friendly practices into your daily routine and annual traditions. According to the National Retail Federation, families with school-aged children on average spent more than $840 on school supplies in 2021. By making sustainable and smart choices while shopping for school supplies, you can save hundreds of dollars and help prevent excess trash!

As you prepare for the new school year, show the keiki in your life some of the actions they can take to help preserve the environment. Here are some tips to get you started:

Choose eco-friendly school supplies.

  • Many school supplies are made of PVC, also known as vinyl, which contains chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Instead, choose supplies made of recycled materials and natural canvas. You can also look for brands that are labeled PVC-free.

Pack your lunch in reusable containers.

  • The average American school child discards an estimated 67 pounds of food packaging annually. Instead of using single-use bags and containers, pack a whole food lunch in a reusable lunch box and reusable bottle of water. This will help to reduce both food and packaging waste.

Buy new school clothes secondhand.

  • Buying new clothes from retail stores can be costly and contributes to “fast fashion.” Combat this by organizing a clothing swap with family, friends, or neighbors or by purchasing clothes from thrift stores, flea markets, or consignment stores.


National Retail Federation

Purely Planted

Trash Free Hawaii