Back to school as lightly as possible

July 22, 2009

My husband and I both teach college and my children are in elementary and jr. high school.  We all start the same week in August – in fact, the kids start 4 weeks from tomorrow.  Part of me doesn’t want to think about it, wants to just savor these last few weeks of summer.  But I also want to focus on eco-friendly products and they tend to be pricier than the less green variety.  That means I need to do a little research and keep my eyes open for sales.

Actually, my research has led me straight to Staples and their Eco-Easy header_eco_logoprogram.  They have over 3,000 guilt-free or guilt-reduced products.   As soon as I get the kids’ supply list I’ll see how much I can get at Staples.  Unfortunately, I won’t be getting the 1 penny notebooks this way, but I’ll feel good about my purchases.

Harder will be getting eco-friendly back-to-school clothes.  Although, I did stumble on a promising site: A&E Designs Classic Apparel.  They had organic cotton t-shirts for under $10 – and since t-shirts and blue jeans are my 13 yr olds self-proclaimed uniform – it works for me.  In fact, it worked so well for me I bought a couple for my husband and myself (shipping was free with orders over $50).  Mr. I-don’t-need-it couldn’t identify more than 2 t-shirt colors that were acceptable (gray and navy – snooze).  When he finally acknowledges that he has grown out of the shirts in his drawer I know where to buy more.

Finding affordable organic cotton jeans in something bigger than toddler sizes and smaller than adult sizes may be impossible (FYI: Sears/Kmart sell organic cotton jeans in adult men’s sizes).  In which case my next step will be Goodwill where I can by new-to-him jeans for a fraction of the original price and without causing more energy to be used to create new ones – who knows it may make up for the price of the green school supplies.

Next adventure – eco-clothes for the 9 yr old girl.



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