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5 Eco Friendly Back To School Swaps

5 Eco Friendly Back To School Swaps

With a teacher in our house getting ready for the new school year, we’re on a mission to make going back to study a little bit friendlier to the planet.

Have you been looking for a way to make going back to school or college more eco-friendly? 

With a teacher in our house getting ready for the new school year, we’re on a mission to make going back to study a little bit friendlier to the planet.

To help you better prepare for back to school, here are a few ideas for a healthier and planet-friendly start to the new academic year.


1. Use a reusable water bottle 

Most disposable plastic water bottles contain toxic BPA, BVA or phthalates. Stainless steel water bottles will last for years, are easy to wash and won’t leak toxic chemicals into your child’s food.

Reusable Water Bottles

Corkcicle Insulated Bottles - Neon Lights Collection

When blend in when you can stand out with a Corkcicle Neon Lights Canteen. Designed with supercharged style in mind, it features three electric hues and a soft-touch, buttery finish. Keeps drinks of every kind cold for up to 25 hours or hot for 12. 

The cool Canteen is triple insulated which keeps your drinks comfortably cool for up to 25 hours and piping hot for up to 12 hours. The modern metal water bottle features a wide mouth so that you are able to easily pop ice cubes inside, a non-slip base to keep it from slipping and flat sides for easy-gripping. Corkcicle’s Canteen is fitted with a leak-proof screw-on cap which prevents air and liquid from escaping, no leaks and no condensation when cold. 


Chilly's Reusable Bottle - 500ml, Stainless Steel

Feel confident when you throw your Chilly’s Bottle into your school or sports bag. These trendy bottles are simple, durable and stylish and come in a range of designs and colours and are guaranteed to have no leaks and thanks to its triple insulation, no condensation when cold - so no more wet copybooks. Keeps hot drinks hot for hours and cold drinks cold all day. Pair your bottle with a clip on carabiner for easy carrying on your school bag.



2. Pack a plastic-free lunch

While most lunch boxes are made from plastic, there are plenty of more sustainable options made from stainless steel, bamboo and silicone  that will help keep your kids' lunches fresh all the way from first class of the day ‘till lunchtime.

Black & Blum Lunchboxes


black + blum Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes - Leak Proof 3 in 1

Black + Blum's stainless steel lunchbox is the first leak-proof lunch box on the market due to its innovative vacuum seal. Plastic free and oven and dishwasher safe, it includes a fork and holds up to 600ml. Leak-proof, oven safe, dishwasher safe, freezer safe, fork included. Capacity: 600ml.


black + blum Stainless Steel Sandwich Box Large & Bamboo Lid

A 1.25L stainless steel lunch box that makes it easy to take your food with you and even includes a bamboo lid that doubles as a chopping board. While these boxes are not 100 percent leakproof, they would work well for older kids. The anti-bacterial bamboo lid doubles as a chopping board or serving board and the silicone strap and silicone seal to keep your lunch securely stored. No more soggy tomatoes - bring your ingredients with you. Includes a dishwasher safe silicone inner compartment. Made from sustainable ingredients - stainless steel, bamboo and silicone. 100% plastic-free


3. Use a reusable sandwich bag or wrap

I don’t know about you but I hate throwing away a plastic bag or cling film for sandwiches every single day. Just think about how many of these bags or single use plastic a family could throw away in a year?

Reusable Lunch Wraps


Boc N Roll Sandwich Wraps

Say goodbye to throw-away wrappers and enjoy your sandwiches on-the-go thanks to our environmentally friendly sandwich wrap. It has an easy fastener that makes it adaptable to different food shapes and sizes (sandwich, fruit..). It is convenient, compact, machine washable and also serves as an individual placemat. To reuse and reenjoy. Available in plain colours and fun patterns like unicorns, pandas, whales and dinosaurs.


Roll N’Eat Snack N Go  Lunch Bag

This snack bag is perfectly sized for a sandwich or snack. It is reusable, very easy to clean, and light enough to take with you anywhere. To eat any snack, anytime, anywhere. Available in coloured patterns or for younger kids with fun characters like unicorns, pandas, whales and dinosaurs.


Millbee Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps - Variety 3 Pack

A great way for your kids to have a plastic free lunchbox is by replacing cling film and tin foil with a reusable and washable beeswax food wrap alternative. Millbee Beeswax Food Wraps are a natural, Irish-made, beautiful alternative to clingfilm that keeps your food fresher for longer! The Variety Pack has 3 sizes ideal for wrapping up sandwiches, snacks and more. Simply seal using the warmth of your hands. Each wrap is made with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, Premium Grade A Irish Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil and Natural Tree Resin. The beeswax and jojoba oil have antibacterial qualities that help to keep food fresh. Handmade by Jennifer in Offaly.

4. Cut out single use

Whether it is back to school for you, or you are just looking to cut down on the amount of single service products your family uses, here are some ideas for reusable items that will last for years. Reusable straws/cutlery and cups that can be used over and over again.

Reusable cups and cutlery

Stojo Collapsible & Reusable Travel Mug 12oz/355ml

Not too big, not too small, the 12oz/355ml Stojo collapsible cup is juuuust right for just about everything. Trying to cram in a last minute breakfast when late for school? Take the Stojo with you everywhere, and you’ll always be ready for a morning cuppa on the go or a hearty helping of porridge. Once you finish your drink, simply collapse the cup and pop it in your bag or pocket.  No need to use disposable cups ever again.


Stainless Steel Spork in Cotton Bag - Elephant Box

Perfect for zero-waste school lunches on the go, this duel ended stainless steel spork comes complete with its own cotton bag. Keep in your school bag, sandwich box or desk so you are never without cutlery again! A great way to avoid reaching for single use plastics and much sturdier to eat with too. Its smaller length is designed especially to be easy to carry without compromising on the size of the fork or spoon.


black + blum Stainless Steel Cutlery And Case

A nesting knife, spoon and fork set that feels great to hold and conveniently nests into a protective case for easy carrying. Made from high quality stainless steel that won't rust and will last forever. The snap case means you can bring this cutlery everywhere with you in a bag or pocket, with no danger of dirty cutlery coming in contact with anything. You'll never need to use single use cutlery again!


6 Reusable Silicone Straws & Plant-Based Cleaning Brush

Never be without a straw. These silicone straws are so easy to fold up and take out and about. Keep one folded up in a schoolbag or pocket so you are never without. Soft on teeth, no risks of chipped teeth. This set of straws has a unique plant-based cleaning brush and a natural carry pouch which both contain no plastic.  They are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Long-lasting and durable they are long enough for drinking from 500ml bottles and can be cut to a shorter size for younger kids.


5. Choose a greener hand sanitizer

Covid has been hard on hands and the industrial sanitizers used in schools are effective but are harsh on kids skin.

Safe Hands Hand Sanitizer

Safe Hands Hand Sanitizer Spray

Approved by Oxford Bioscience and perfectly sized for taking to school or college. Safe Hands Cleansing Hand Sanitizer Spray contains coconut derived glycerine to hydrate and nourish your hands while the 65%  isopropyl alcohol is quick drying and protects and sanitizes.

Much of the glycerine used in skincare products and hand sanitizer is derived from palm oil which is devastating to our rainforests. Ruth's Palm Free never ever uses Palm Oil. We love that it comes in a recyclable aluminum bottle, it's vegan and cruelty free and its handmade in Dun Laoghaire.


When you are trying to be more eco-friendly, it can seem like a big task to start. The simplest swaps will make a difference over time and help slow down climate change. These are just a few simple changes that you can make when going back to school or college that will help the environment. Even some small changes will go a long way.