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13 Sustainable School Supplies That Help Reduce Waste

If you're looking for sustainable school supplies this year, we have you covered—from plantable pencils to eco-friendly laptop sleeves.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

Back-to-school season is officially upon us. As retailers across the country set up their displays, you can't walk through any chain store without seeing walls lined with brand-new backpacks and aisle upon aisle of shiny pens and cute notebooks.

With all these options available, it may feel overwhelming to pick the school supplies you actually need. It can also be really hard to find sustainable options at big-box stores. So if you're trying to have a more eco-friendly school year, we've got you covered with plantable pencils, stone paper notebooks, and beyond.

13 Sustainable School Supplies to Try in 2022

This sustainable, organic cotton backpack is great for school, outdoor activities, traveling, work, and beyond. It's super-spacious and has a main compartment, laptop sleeve, and both an internal and external pocket. Grab it in olive green, mustard yellow, or lavender. Also cool: Each purchase supports Feeding America's campaign to end hunger by helping donate meals to kids and families in need.

This isn't a regular notebook. It's made of high-quality, sustainable, and recyclable stone paper (yes, stone!), has an expandable back pocket and divider ribbon, and a waterproof cover and pages. Aka no coffee spills will never ruin your day.

Pack school lunches in this reusable lunch bag that's made with washable paper. The Supernatural Paper, which is sourced from responsibly-managed forests, has the look and feel of leather despite being 100% vegan.

These planet-friendly, 15" laptop sleeves are ethically and sustainably made with soft organic cotton. It can hold up to a 16" MacBook Pro. Plus, each purchase supports Feeding America. Grab it in olive green, mustard yellow, or lavender.

This back-to-school bundle has everything you need to kick off the year sustainably: plantable pencils, non-toxic highlighters made from recycled water bottles, bamboo ballpoint pens, and a bamboo stapler.

6. Reusable Silicone Bags, $28 (Set of 2)

Back up lunches the eco-friendly way by swapping single-use plastic baggies for this reusable silicone option. In this set, you'll receive two: one 13 oz bag, and one 30 oz bag.

This organic cotton pencil case is both Fairtrade Certified and Carbon Neutral. Use it for pens and pencils, makeup, and beyond. It comes in two colors: mustard yellow and lavender.

More school lunch essentials, coming right up. This perfectly portable and easily stackable set is a great sustainable swap for single-use plastic options. When you shop through Brightly, you'll receive the collapsible cup for free alongside the collapsible box.

You may think that a bag made out of paper would disintegrate after a couple of uses, but this backpack will prove you wrong. With wide, durable cotton straps and a body made of Supernatural Paper (which is crafted from tree cellulose!), you can feel good about flaunting this stylish bag on campus.

These decomposition books are great for all your note-taking and journaling needs. Decomposition's notebooks are made of 100% post-consumer-waste recycled plastic and feature a sewn binding. Not to mention, they come in a wide array of gorgeous designs.

11. Rocketbook Core, $34

This may look like your typical notebook, but it's actually anything but. Rocketbook's Core notebook is one of the coolest school supplies. The digital notebook is endlessly reusable and connects to all your favorite cloud services, so you'll have access to your notes anytime and anywhere.

With all those long days in class and hours doing extracurriculars, it doesn't hurt to carry a portable charger in your bag. This one by CHAMP is ultra-compact, works with just about every device, and is made with 72.5% post-consumer plastic for a more eco-friendly charge.

Everybody makes mistakes. But with these erasers from Onyx + Green, you might not even feel so bad about making them. They're made from recycled rubber and come with a paper sleeve for gripping, so you can get rid of even the biggest errors.