Shopping for back-to-school in a sustainable way involves making mindful choices that reduce environmental impact and promote ethical practices. Here are ten sustainable ways to shop and prepare for back to school: 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:

Before buying new supplies, check what items from the previous year can be reused. Things like backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, and scissors can often be used for another school year with proper care. 

Green School Supplies:

Look for school supplies made from recycled or sustainable materials. Items like notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and paper made from recycled content or sustainably sourced materials are becoming more widely available.  

Thrifty Treasures:

Explore thrift stores and consignment shops for second-hand clothing and school supplies to reduce waste and embrace sustainable clothing. 

Reusable Lunchware:

Ditch disposable bags and containers in favor of reusable lunch boxes, water bottles, and snack containers made from sustainable materials. 

Bulk Buys:

Purchase essential items like pens, pencils, and erasers in bulk to minimize packaging waste and save resources.

Support Local Shops:

Whenever possible, buy from local businesses or artisans that prioritize sustainable practices. This not only reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping but also supports your local economy. 

Quality over Quantity:

Invest in durable, high-quality items that will last longer. This prevents the need for frequent replacements and reduces waste over time. 

Minimal Packaging:

Be conscious of the packaging of the products you buy. Opt for products with minimal or recyclable packaging to reduce the amount of waste generated. 

Digital Resources:

Consider using digital resources such as e-books or online study tools instead of purchasing physical textbooks or workbooks. 


Encourage carpooling with neighbors or friends to reduce carbon emissions when commuting to school. 

By adopting these eco-friendly practices, you can make a positive impact on the environment and set a sustainable example for others during the back-to-school season. 

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About Keep America Beautiful®:

Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful® strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of 700 Keep America Beautiful® affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedin, and YouTubeDonate and take action at


McCall Vrydaghs

Keep America Beautiful®

Published by McCall Vrydaghs
August 2, 2023

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