Simple Ways to Make Back-to-School Season Safer

Stocking up on brand-new back-to-school supplies is one of the season’s most treasured traditions. But even time-tested rituals deserve an update, especially when your children’s welfare is involved. This year, make sure your little ones start the school year on the right foot with safer gear, much of which is also better for the environment. To help you, we’ve rounded up 13 items, including organic paint, all-natural glue, and stainless steel containers, to shop just in time for their first day of school.


Glob Colors’ vegan, organic paint colors—such as Berry, Pomegranate, and Basil—are named after the colorful fruits, veggies, and herbs used to make them.

Instead of petroleum paraffin wax, Crayon Rocks’ non-toxic crayons are crafted from kosher soy wax combined with natural mineral pigments, giving each one its vibrant hue. Even better, Crayon Rocks’ unique design encourages a child’s tripod grip.

Like Eco-Kids’ other all-natural products, this environmentally friendly glue is a mix of rice flour, water, sugar, cornstarch, and other better-for-kids materials.

Many of Buffalo Natur’s products, like its geometry set, are made of 85% recycled material and come in 100% biodegradable packaging.


Beatrix NY’s playful lunch boxes are conveniently machine-washable, and they’ve also been tested negative for PVC, phthalates, lead, and BPA.

Because many portable food containers are made of plastic, posing some potential health concerns, make sure you’re packing lunch in a safer alternative. All of Klean Kanteen’s durable canisters are made from food-grade stainless steel that won’t absorb flavors or odors.

Neatly organize school lunches in Goodbyn Bynto’s three-compartment tray, which is easy to wash, free of BPAs and phthalates, and lead-safe.

Replace plastic snack bags for a more environmentally responsible option. Itzy Ritzy’s reusable cotton bags can hold snacks but also toiletries, a cell phone, or other odds and ends.

S’well’s stainless steel, BPA-free bottles can keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12.


Dabbawalla’s miniature backpacks, perfect for preschoolers, are crafted from a material called EcoSponge, a neoprene fabric that is supposed to be degradable, recyclable, and toxin-free.

Sprout San Francisco makes organic clothes whenever possible, screening the fabrics it uses for toxic chemicals, including dyes, perfumes, pesticides, and more.

All of Nohi Kids’ clothes are made from fabric that’s a combination of certified organic cotton, bamboo viscose, and spandex, featuring designs printed with water-based inks.

According to the Ecology Center, Britax ranks as one of the top companies trying to reduce hazards—like flame-retardant chemicals—in its products, particularly its Frontier car seat.