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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Go Back to School Green

By Dana D, Charlotte Smarty Pants

It’s back to school time and I wanted to give you all a head’s up on some great products for your kids. Of course they are eco friendly but also very practical. Some products will require online purchase but I also found some of these at local stores! I will start with clothing. Remember the consignment sales are great. If you are going to buy new then I urge you all to buy one piece of organic cotton clothing. Gap and Pottery Barn carry some now if you are hesitant to buy online. Now, I know some of you buy boutique clothing at prices that are more than some of the organic cotton pieces. So no excuses! There are some really cute clothes out there now with a lot more variety of colors. Here are a few examples. There is a really cute line of organic clothing called Kate Quinn organics. If you can’t visit their Seattle showroom (ah, I wish I could just drop in…..) then check them out online.

Now for shoes.... We were just chatting the other day how expensive kids shoes have become. Stride Rite used to be middle of the road and now they are like $50 a pair. I figure if I am going to spend that much then I am going to Clark’s or Nordstrom for the kiddos. It’s crazy how fast they grow out of them and to keep spending $50 a pop. Then I found this line of eco friendly shoes. I think these are pretty cool and priced the same or a bit less.

Simple Shoes - These shoes are made from recycled plastics, organic cotton, recycled car tires and natural fibers like cork and hemp. - $42. Now more affordable than Stride Rite! You can also find these at Nordstrom, and Greater Outdoor Provisions!

For lunch boxes I would recommend the following:

Bento Lunch Boxes such as Laptop Lunch or Mr. Bento.
Crocodile Creek lunch bags- dinosaurs, garden and transportation designs. These are PVC, phthalate, and lead free.
Land of Nod Answer the Lunch Bell Lunchboxes- Barnyard, Garden or Solar System- these are PVC, lead and phthalate free.
Mimi the Sardine – lunch bags and backpacks as well as aprons and splash mats.

I am trying really hard to rid my household of plastic baggies. Therefore, I highly recommend you all to get the Wrap n Mats for your children to take sandwiches to school. No more plastic baggies!
To reduce waste, I suggest you try these super cute reusable cloth napkins from Fabkins! These are kid-sized reusable cloth napkins made from 100% cotton. They are absolutely adorable. Sold in packs of 5. Of course you can give them any old cloth napkin and that will work just as well. My favorite drink container or sippy cup is Klean Kanteen. They have come out with some really cool colors now besides the traditional stainless steel color.

Here are some other fun items that your kids may enjoy!
Smencils – made from 100 % recycled newspapers and when sharpened they give off scent. Examples of aromas are bubble gum, cherry, cinnamon, fruit punch, grape, orange, peppermint, pineapple, root beer and watermelon. $11.99 for a 10 pack. You can find these at Target!
Stubby Pencil Studio - Great deals on soy crayons by Prang! 8 for $1 or 24 for $3. Check out their other art supplies. They also carry aprons for kids made from recycled juice boxes!
Elephant Poo Poo Paper Journal by Bark Elephant- at Target - $12.99- made from recycled elephant waste fibers. Yes, elephant Poo! Crazy, huh? Too funny!
Banana Paper Notebook - For $5.99, a good choice if the elephant poo paper isn’t up your alley.
Paper Mate Recycled number 2 pencils
• Biodegradable pens from Vegan Essentials for $1.95 each. Writes in blue ink and made of corn. Target also carries these but a different brand at $2.49 for two pens.
Cute Recycled Notebooks by Ecojot- can buy from Delight
Green Line Paper Company – sells 100 % recycled portfolio folders and report covers.

Hope you enjoy all these back to school tips! (Note: Some of these prices may have changed slightly as this blog was originally posted on Charlotte Smarty Pants last year). If you have any other green ideas, please post below!


Anonymous said...

I agree that shoes can be the most outrageously priced item for kids when only worn one season. I feel compelled to buy "good" shoes for them because I want them to have good support.

Look for a green experience this fall at CBR.

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