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January 11, 2021

It's that time of year again, I've had an amazing break but it's time to head back to school, work & reality! After a break I feel so ready to smash out my zero waste goals again, which is why I wanted to chat about sustainable school and work supplies.

Does anyone else get overwhelmed whilst walking through the stationary and food storage sections at their local department store?! Plastic pens, packaged in plastic, plastic lunchboxes paired with plastic sandwich bags and hand sanitisers with a billion (ok a possible exaggeration ha ha) chemicals in them.

In this blog we'll talk about our favourite toxin-free, sustainably packaged and Aussie owned products that will help you ditch unnecessary waste and toxins in classroom, playground, office and lunchbox!

7 products that reduce waste at work and school

1. Eco Friendly Pens

Did you know...every year, over 2 billion plastic pens are sold globally, that's 1000's of tonnes of plastic waste, eeeeek! Here's our solution...You can now write your love notes, squiggles, ideas, oh and 'work' with less plastic involved with Eco Pens!

NEW: The Earth Pen

Eco-Pen-Plastic-Free-Earth-Pen

The Eco Pen Earth Pen provides an eco-friendly alternative that contains 85% less plastic than traditional pens. They are made from recycled kraft paper, and the ink on and inside the pen is non-toxic and soy based.

 Earth Pen Colours:

  • Kraft brown
  • Black

 Why we love them:

  • 85% less plastic than a traditional pen
  • Compostable & recyclable materials
  • 0.7mm ballpoint pen with a non-toxic soy based ink
  • Manufactured by a FSC approved factory that uses trees from responsibly sourced locations
  • Available in a black & kraft colour
  • Available with black or blue ink

NEW: The Clicker Pen

Eco-Pen-Club-Plastic-Free-Compostable-Clicker-Pens

The Eco Pen Clicker Pen contains 50% less plastic than traditional pens. They are made from recycled cardboard with plastic/wheat ends, and the ink on and inside the pen is non-toxic and soy based.

Why we love them:

  • 50% less plastic than a traditional pen
  • Compostable & recyclable materials
  • 0.7mm ballpoint pen with a non-toxic soy-based ink
  • Manufactured by a FSC approved factory that uses trees from responsibly sourced locations
  • Available in 6 different clicker colours
  • Available with blue or black ink

Click here to read about the awesome family behind this eco-friendly pen brand.

2. Silicone Pouches

Sileco’s Silicone Ziplock Bags

Sileco-Reusable-Silicone-Food-Pouches

These reusable food pouches are made from 100% premium food-grade silicone, and are great for storing soups, sandwiches, left-overs, cut fruit, cheeses, and dips. One of these reusable sandwich bags can replace thousands of single-use bags over its lifetime, keeping plastic from entering into landfill, waterways, and our beautiful oceans. They are compact and lightweight, and can also be used whilst traveling to store personal hygiene items, wet togs and your phone on beach days!

Did we mention their design is super easy for kids to use?!

3. Reusable Food Wraps

Beeswax Wraps

Bee-Green-Wraps-Australia-Zero-Waste-Food-Wraps

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"These reusable food wraps smell delicious and are perfect for wrapping bread, sealing bowls and wrapping snacks. Highly recommended!!"
- Catherine R

An easy, economical, and stylish way to ditch plastic cling wrap! These reusable beeswax wraps last up to 12 months depending on care (I've had mine for 2 years now and they are still going strong!). They are made in Australia from certified organic cotton which means they are 100% compostable at the end of their life. Woot woot, we love products that give back to the earth instead of heading to landfill! 

Check out the gorgeous range of colours, sizes and packs here, and our vegan alternative here.

4. Drink Bottles

Double Insulated Drink Bottles

Ever-Eco-Australia-Pink-Double-Insulated-Drink-Bottle

Did you know, water packaged in plastic bottles costs more per litre than petrol! Not to mention the cost creating, packaging, transporting, and disposing them has on the planet. Only 36% of PET plastic bottles are recycled in Australia, which means roughly 373 million plastic water bottles end up in landfill each year. Eeeeek!

Perfect for trade workers that are in the heat all day!

Once you've transitioned to an Insulated Drink Bottle you'll be in disbelief that you were ever able to drink from a plastic water bottle in the past! Their double wall insulated design means that they’ll keep your liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 8. We know having access to cold water at your desk all day is a game changer for summer!

Their cup holder compatibility makes them car trip friendly; their wider mouth makes it easier to add ice and the carry handle is handy when you’re determined to do the one trip from the car to the front door. They also have a water tight vacuum seal to keep you safe from leaks in your car, handbag or the littlies school bags! And did we mention how gorgeous they look?

5. Lunch Boxes

Bento Boxes

Ever-Eco-Australia-Plastic-Free-School-Lunch-Box

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"I'm loving this snack box. The stainless steel keeps my snacks/lunch chilled and I'm so surprised by how much i can fit in there. Definitely recommend, i'll be getting more :)"
- Claire, M.

Surely we've all had one of those flimsy plastic lunchboxes with the different compartments, layers and clips that were prone to breaking?! Avoid having to buy yourself, your partner or your little ones a new lunchbox every year with our stronger and more durable stainless bento boxes. Woohooooo. Did we mention they look super sleek?!

They are available with different compartments, levels, dividers and sizes, check out the full range here.

6. Hand Sanitiser

Anti-bacterial Hand Spray

Bondi-Wash-Australia-Natural-Hand-Sanitiser-Spray

Perfect for a pre-meal or post bathroom cleanses!

This Essential Oil Hand Spray is gentle on your skin and tough on germs and dirt. The formula combines antibacterial essential oils of Lavender and Tasmanian Pepper with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to keep your hands clean without drying them out. 

It's even been confirmed by independent lab testing to kill 99.9% of germs. The convenient 50ml spray bottle is perfect to take on the go and will last up to 400 sprays! Which means, the 300ml will give you up to 2,400 sprays!! *woot woot*

7. Sun Protection

Sunbutter Sunscreen:

Sunbutter-Sustainable-Reef-Safe-Sunscreen
Perfect for sport days or field trips!

This Sunbutter Sunscreen provides powerful broad spectrum SPF50+ protection from UVA and UVB raysfor up to 4 hours in and out of the water. With a base of Zinc Oxide, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E, this creamy 100% natural sunscreen rubs in clear, nourishes and protects skin at the same time. Did we mention it's vegan, reef-safe and comes in a plastic-free recyclable metal tin?!

Read more about what 'reef-safe' really means on our blog here.

Shop all of our back to school essentials here...

Budget friendly options...

Here are some DIY ideas to reduce waste at home, work and school without spending a cent.

  • Re-use a glass mason jar as a pen holder, drink bottle or BYO coffee cup
  • Swap to wooden pencils instead of pens
  • Refine your processes to involve less printing, you'll save so much money on paper and ink too!
  • Use scrap paper, old envelopes or old calendar pages to write your notes & to-do lists if you can't do it on a computer. I completely understand there's something so powerful about being able to physically cross out your to-do's!
  • Make your own muesli bars, protein balls, dips and more to reduce the packaging waste involved with snacking!

Let your creative juices flow, there are so many easy and fun zero waste DIYs out there to help you reduce waste and save money!

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We hope you loved our sustainable tips to reduce waste at school and in the office. These small changes have a massive impact on the planet and your wallet so well done for going that extra mile to check them out. Keep on smashing your zero waste journey, you've got this!

If you have any questions or need some advice on how to avoid specific wasteful items at school or in the workplace, please don't hesitate to reach out.

With Love,

Ellie & the GFZ team xx

 

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Sources:

  1. uow.edu.au

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