Eco-friendly school supplies

Six boxes of crayons, twelve glue sticks, two bottles of Elmer's school glue ... the school supply list for my daughter's first-grade class goes on and on.

Before I became a parent, I had no idea how much stuff kids had to have each school year. Or how quickly it can all add up.

With the school year looming, I bought her entire list without giving much thought to whether the supplies were eco-friendly. That occurred to me later, as the bags of supplies took over my dining room table awaiting the start of school.

It's too late to go green for this school year, but I figured there is probably some website that sells greener versions of most items, so I went online and found Green Backpack, which states that everything on the site is made of recycled or sustainable materials.

That's the good news: eco-friendly school supplies are out there! Yay! The bad news is how much more pricey they are. I expected them to cost more than regular supplies, but I had no idea how much. The crayons I bought were 25 cents a box; the ones at Green Backpack cost just 1 cent shy of 10 times that.

I found the same or similar eco-friendly products on other websites as well, but Green Backpack had the best prices. It's too bad, though, that I still cannot afford to get them, especially when teachers ask for more than one of each item.

Next summer, I plan to get a bigger head start on school shopping. Perhaps if I spread out when I purchase the supplies, I can get at least some of them from greener sources.

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