6 Easy to Find Eco-Friendly and USA Made Back to School Brands

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This special section was created by natural product expert Amy Serotkin of The Mindful Home as part of Mothering’s Ultimate Green Guide to Back to School Supplies. Check it out for many more eco-friendly, made in the USA picks for back to school.


Some major retailers and manufacturers have introduced product lines made of sustainable materials like recycled plastic or sugar cane.  Other companies, like Crayola, are still making a number of their products in the USA.  You can view their entire selections in the links below, and keep an eye out for these items while shopping in stores near you.



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Sustainable Earth by Staples


From paper products to calculators, there are a variety of eco-friendly products available at Staples.  Their notebooks come in single or 5 subject, and are made from 80% sugarcane waste.


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Bic Ecolutions


Bic now offers retractable and traditional ball point pens, standard and mechanical pencils, colored pencils and white out all made of varying percentages of PVC free recycled plastic.


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According to their website, 24 Crayola products are still made in the USA.  The link above will take you directly to their “Made in America” section. or you can click “any feature” on the left and scroll down to “Made in America.”




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Office Depot


Office Depot carries a number of FSC Certified paper products, including 1, 3 and 5 subject notebooks made with 80% sugarcane fiber.  To learn more about FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, click here.


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Pilot BeGreen


This line of products made from recycled content has some exceptional items.  Not only are there several different pens and mechanical pencils, but they also have the first pen made from a plastic bottle, as well as refillable permanent and dry erase markers made with over 90% recycled content. 



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Paper Mate Earth Write/Rethink


Paper Mate has my favorite thing of all, Earth Write: pens and mechanical pencils with outer materials made from corn-based material that is said to biodegrade within a year.  They also have Rethink: pens, pencils and correction film made of recycled materials, like these pencils made of 100% recycled wood. 



About Amy Serotkin

Amy Serotkin is dedicated to sustainable living and finding ways to eliminate toxins in her home.  She is an avid organic gardener and cook, and is always looking for more ways to challenge herself to lessen her family’s ecological imprint.

Her website, www.themindfulhome.blogspot.com, shares with consumers the information she’s found on toxins and eco friendly products that help eliminate disposables or toxin exposure.  She also hopes to highlight smaller retailers, crafters and manufacturers.