While you’re soaking up some much-needed summer rays, the back-to-school season is right around the corner. We recognize how important it is to start off the school year feeling totally equipped to take on the world. But the sad reality is that so many popular back-to-school products aren’t doing you – or the planet – any good. In fact, the vast majority of conventional items are laden with harmful ingredients, swathed in layers of wasteful packaging, and produced using unfair labor practices. The National Retail Federation predicts that this year’s back-to-school shopping will spike ten percent from last year, totaling a whopping $83.6 billion in spending. And most of those products are taking a significant social and environmental toll. Even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to distinguish between conventional and conscious brands. So what’s a back-to-school shopper to do?
Enter Green Thursdays – Turning Green’s brand new back-to-school initiative, designed to help you put your dollars toward eco-friendly products with a positive impact. For your purchasing pleasure, we have curated a checklist of some of our favorite conscious brands in the following ten categories:
1. Body: Everything you put directly on your body, including shower gel, deodorant, toothpaste and more. Have you ever checked out the ingredients labels in your “go-to” products?
2. Clean: Most cleaning products contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds, such as ammonia), which contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Not the case with our preferred brands!
3. Home: From desk lamps to houseplants, our list will help you make your living space as green as can be.
4. Study: Hit the books with 100% post-consumer recycled notebooks, eco-friendly backpacks, and tech galore.
5. Eat/Drink: Our list of FLOSN (fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO) snacks, beverages and meals makes it easier than ever to nourish the body and mind.
6. Bathe: Ethically made towels, toilet paper and shower shoes will help green your morning and evening routines.
7. Active: Healthy body, healthy mind. Gear up with some of the greenest brands in the business, featuring activewear, yoga mats and more.
8. Sleep: Cotton is one of the most pesticide-laden crops on the planet. You’ll sleep well knowing your sheets, pillowcases and PJs are 100% organic cotton.
9. Zero Waste: Reusable water bottles, food containers and utensils make it easy to eat on the go without creating waste.
10. Wellness: Maintaining your wellness is the key to crushing it at school. Herbal supplements, natural pain relievers, and essential oils will help you feel your best all year round.
As you curate your living space this year, we encourage you to buy less and shop smart while using Turning Green’s new Back-to-School Checklist as a guide. You can assess your personal footprint and take practical steps to reduce it. Look for labels like USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Fair Trade, and 100% post-consumer recycled, as well as items that are second hand, recycled and upcycled. If you have to buy new products, consider our checklist your comprehensive guide to supporting businesses and companies that are doing right by people and planet.
Choosing these products over conventional brands means voting with your dollar. It means carving out a bigger piece of that $83.6 billion pie for conscious goods. It makes a statement that you care as much about what you’re putting in, on and around your body as you do about how those products impact your community, and the earth as a whole.
For the next six weeks, our Conventional to Conscious blog will highlight each of these ten categories, with tips about why, what to look for when you’re shopping and spotlights on some of our eco “hero” partner brands. Starting Thursday, July 27, we’re teaming up with industry leaders to help you and students across the country transition from conventional to conscious living with our #GreenThursday Giveaway. With your support, we will make this the greenest back to school season ever.
Launching at 8am PT each Thursday morning (July 27-August 31), we will offer a giveaway on the Turning Green Instagram. One winner and a friend they tag will be randomly selected to win an ecofabulous #GreenThursday Essential Back-to-School Package (valued at more than $300). Turning Green will announce and notify the winners the following Friday morning at 8am PT.
Project Green Challenge
Want to dive more deeply into living green this Fall? Sign up now for Project Green Challenge 2017 starting on October 1st.
This is a guest post, with edits, from our friends and partner, Turning Green.