Back to School Zero-Waste Products You Should Invest In
Photo from pexels.com
By Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos
It’s another school year once again and what’s the best way to welcome this season than buying new school stuff to kick start the opening of classes?
But purchasing new items for the school year need not be a burden for the environment. While there are many things that are made up of plastic materials, being conscious in making purchases can actually create ripples to save the ocean and the environment as a whole.
The country is considered as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in Southeast Asia. With this, it ranks as third worldwide and the continuing dilemma loom as people continue to patronize single-use plastics each day.
One can help alleviate this global problem by taking baby steps to living a zero-waste lifestyle. The zero-waste lifestyle advocates to take helpful steps to eliminate plastic waste in the ocean, and having a conscious effort in thinking of the consequences of buying certain items which can put nature at risk.
There are over 521, 000 tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean, leading to sea species death. The lifespan of these plastic products can take up to 400 to 500 years which means the pollution we create today will be a burden for the next generations to come.
Now that summer is ending and we are about to welcome a fresh new school year, it is important to have a conscious mindset on what to buy and what not to when purchasing new things for school.
Whether you are a college student or a mom attending to her kids’ school needs, these back to school zero-waste products might actually help in taking the baby steps to zero-waste living.
Notebooks from Recyclable Materials
This gift shop has evolved through the years of creating meaningful art pieces that not only inspire but help the environment as well. Papemelroti has long been an advocate of using recyclables and turning it into nice, creative things. Consider buying a couple of their notebooks which are 100 percent made of recyclable papers. Moreover, by just roaming around a Papemelroti branch, you will find quirky school supply stuff like notepads, planners, paper clips, bookmarks, and paper weight rocks.
Photo from Papemelroti Facebook Page
Notebooks with Fabric Covers
Forget those clear, transparent plastics you use to cover your notebooks. Lightweight notebooks with hard fabric covers from Moleskine can do the job. It also has inner pockets for those sudden reminders. These notebooks have reusable paperband and elastic closure feature.
Photo from www.moleskine.com
Compostable Paper Washi Tapes
Ditch those scotch tapes and shift to using compostable paper washi tapes instead. Washi tapes are made up of rubber for its stickiness and paper, which comes from hemp pulp or wood. This is just right for wrapping sweet nothings for your thoughtful classmate or putting a cute note to your kid’s lunch boxes. You can check out colourful washi tapes at Washi Tape Philippines.
Photo from Washi Tape Philippines Facebook Page
Ever get annoyed with the seemingly endless single-use plastic you get when you go for an errand? Having a sturdy and reliable totebag wherever you go to throw in your purchases create a big impact. How Toteful has totebags and drawstrings with cool art designs you may choose from.
Photo from How Toteful Facebook Page
Bringing in your own water bottle or tumbler for coffee is one simple way of ditching single use plastic and paper cups given in cafes. But if you also prefer convenience over bringing bulky and heavy cups, using a collapsible cup is a great alternative. Collapsible cups from Eco-heroes are made up of BPA-free silicone and can hold ice cold and hot drinks without spilling.
Photo from Eco-heroes Facebook Page
Juices in Glass Bottles
Start-up company Bayani Brew has been carving its name as a sustainable social enterprise uplifting the lives of farmers through farm fresh teasans inspired by the good old homemade teas drank by farmers during their break times. While Bayani Brew first introduced three flavours—lemongrass pandan, sweet potato leaf, and moringa dalandan—all packed in plastic bottles, the social enterprise launched its glass bottled concentrates.
For each 500ml bottle of concentrate, one can make up to three liters of farm fresh tea. This is perfect to quench the thirst while doing school projects and sharing them to your blockmates as well. The glass bottle can also be reused as your water or juice bottle so you need not to buy single-use plastic bottles sold in convenience stores next time.
Photo from Bayani Brew Facebook Page
Cutlery Sets On-the-Go
For the always-on-the-go, having a cutlery set where you go helps in avoiding the usage of plastic utensils and plastic straws offered in school canteens. SIP PH’s burrito set consists of a bamboo spoon, fork, knife, and chopsticks. It also has bent straw and milktea straw that comes with a brush. What makes this go-to set an eye-candy is its nice burrito canvass wrap and teal ribbon detail to keep your set intact. For every purchase of this product, half of it will go to Earthducation, a flagship program of SIP PH aiming to educate the young about the saving the earth through lesser consumption of plastic.
Photo from SIP PH
One way to jumpstart a zero-waste living is bringing reusables when going out. This way, you can refuse plastic containers when eating and prefer using your own. Aside from bringing your usual tumbler and snack containers, you may also bring in beeswax food wrap to cover your sandwiches and other food. No need to use those transparent plastic covers which just ends up in the trash can after. Check out beeswax wrap at Island Happy.
Photo from Island Happy Facebook Page
There are a lot of back to school zero-waste products that are available in specialty stores and even in online shops. Conscious consumerism starts with the right research, suppliers who are one with the goal of reducing waste, and every individual’s effort, whether you are still a student, a professional, or a lay citizen. Here’s to starting a zero-waste lifestyle this coming school year!