5 Back to School Sustainable Swaps | Olika Skip to content

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July 14, 2022 4 min read

As we prepare for the new school year, it's time to start thinking about what easy sustainable swaps you can make for you and your family. Living a sustainable lifestyle can feel daunting, but making just a few small changes in your day-to-day routine can have a large, overall impact. 

Before you make your back-to-school shopping list, consider switching some of your go-tos for these moresustainable swaps for students

Our Go-To Sustainable Swaps

Terra Thread Backpack

The most sustainable choice you can make is to continue to use last year’s backpack, but if it's time for a replacement this backpack from Terra Thread is a greatcarbon neutral choice–meaning the production of this backpack has net-zero carbon emissions. It comes in 15 different colors, so you are guaranteed to find a color that your little one loves. It is made of a durable, heavy duty cotton based canvas so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down anytime soon. Plus, they sell matching pencil cases if you are in the market for one as well! 

When a backpack is sent to the landfill, it is likely to sit there for years. Part of making sustainable choices is investing in well-made pieces, like a new backpack, that will last for longer than a few years to keep it out of the landfill. When you purchase from a company like Terra Thread, you not only invest in a longer, more sustainable future with your product but you also invest in the work that the company is doing. 

OLIKA Back to School Collection 

As we head back to the classroom full-time, it is more important than ever to be mindful of germs and sickness spreading at school. Picking up atravel hand sanitizer that you can clip onto a lunch box or backpack makes it easy for your child to remember to apply it throughout the day. OLIKA’s Back to School sanitizers come in four different colors and scents so your child can pick out their perfect mists. OLIKA’s formula contains hyaluronic acid and aloe, making it ultra-hydrating and safer for your child’s hands than the industrial bottles at school. 

These sanitizers are also refillable, so you aren’t purchasing any typical single-use travel-bottles. Making an investment in a refillable hand sanitizer now helps you commit to more sustainable practices moving forward. Once you purchase the container, you can commit to refilling it for years to come, making a permanent sustainable swap in your life. 

Fluf Organic Cotton Zipper Lunch Bag 

Fluf’s classic lunch bag is both sustainably and ethically sourced, while also being free of any toxins that could enter your child’s food. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are all machine washable to keep them looking fresh. If a spill happens, the Fluf lunch bag is lined with water-resistant material for a quick and easy clean up. Don’t forget to clip your travel hand sanitizer onto your new lunch bag! 

When it comes to a lunch bag, purchasing a sustainably made product like the Fluf lunch bag, is not only a better choice for the planet, but also for the health of your child. There are many toxins and endocrine disruptors that lunch bag manufacturers will use as shortcuts. However, Fluf takes care to strictly avoid these materials and ensure your child is safe by having their products third-party tested for safety. 

Rothy’s Kids Strap Sneaker  

When you’re a kid, the yearly sneaker purchase feels like the most important decision. Luckily, Rothy’s makes sustainably produced shoes from plastic water bottles that come in strap-on sneakers or slip-on loafers. Beyond the positive impact Rothy’s products are having on the environment, kids love these shoes because they are easy to throw on and super comfortable. But, the best part? Their shoes are all machine washable, making parents’ lives just a bit easier when your child comes home from the playground with dirty shoes. 

Stasher Silicone Bags

It’s undeniable how convenient plastic Ziploc bags are when it comes to packing lunches. But, it's also undeniable how much waste even one plastic bag a day can add up to over the school year. A goodsustainability swap for plastic bags are Stasher bags. They are a silicone alternative that are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe, making them even more multi-purpose than a plastic bag. You can even use dry-erase markers on the bags to leave a sweet note for your little one to read during lunch-time. 

Our Sustainability Rule

Always remember, the most eco-friendly back-to-school shopping you can do is right in your own home. So, before you even consider any of the sustainability swaps listed here, take a look through your drawers, cabinets, and pantry to see what you already have or what you can repurpose to fit your needs. Make a list and go to the store with a clear plan so you don’t end up over shopping.

For the items you do need to purchase, do research and find some easysustainable swaps that can help reduce your carbon footprint. We’ve even done the research for you and you’ll find more about sustainable, affordable party favors here as well as sustainable finds at Walmart here.  Every little change you make helps and instead of completely replacing all of your go-to back to school products, think about the smaller, realistic changes that you can make so you can feel good about your impact this Fall. 

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