8 Products That Reduce Waste At Work and School
Are you the same as me where after a break from the weekend or school holidays you feel so ready to smash out your zero waste goals again, and get back in the flow of your sustainable journey!?
Me too! Which is why I want to chat about sustainable school and work supplies!
I’m sure you can agree that whilst walking through the stationary and food storage sections at their local department store, it feels so overwhelming?! Plastic pens, packaged in plastic, plastic lunch boxes paired with plastic sandwich bags and hand sanitisers with a billion (okay… a possible over exaggeration haha) But chemicals nonetheless!
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 the classroom, playground, office and lunchbox!
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… Introducing Eco Earth Pens!
The Eco Pens come in so many variations, including your standard black and blue pens, coloured clicker pens and highlighters! The range 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.
Why we love them:
- Up to 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
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.
See the full range here!
2. Reusable Silicone Food Pouches!
It’s time to ditch the cling wrap and we just made it easier than ever!
Our reusable food pouches are made from 100% premium food-grade silicone, and are great for storing snacks, soups, sandwiches, left-overs, cut fruit, cheeses, and so much more. 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! Bonus!
Did we mention they are super easy for kids to use and there are multiple sizes and options to choose from?!
We also share tips on how to ditch cling wrap once and for all here!
3. Beeswax Wraps
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.
"These reusable foodwraps smell delicious and are perfect for wrapping bread, sealing bowls and wrapping snacks. Highly recommended!!"
- Catherine R
You heard it here first from Catherine!
4. Plastic Free Drink Bottles
Did you know, water packaged in plastic bottles costs more per litre than petrol! Not to mention the cost of creating, packaging, transporting, and disposing them 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. Let’s Talk Lunch Boxes!
Surely we've all had one of those flimsy plastic lunch boxes 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 stainlessbento boxes. Woohooooo. Did we mention they look super sleek?!
They are available with different compartments, levels, dividers and sizes, check out the full rangehere.
"I'm loving thissnack 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.
6. Paper Saving & Reusable Notebooks!
Yep you read that right!
This simple yet innovative design encourages up-cycling papers that are lying around by helping you keep it all organised and accessible with a beautiful and durable cover. Simply fold your A4-sized scrap paper in half, pop it through the spring steel wire binder, and write away!
Did we mention... You can keep track of everything you need with theOrganiser Add-on for your Paper Saver Reusable Notebook. Built to fit perfectly under the steel binder of your Paper Saver, this stylish and environmentally-friendly organiser ensures you never leave your tools behind again.
7. Hand Sanitiser
The new world of Covid has seen us up our game when it comes to workplace, personal and social hygiene measures. We have the perfect toxin free sanitiser for your pre-meal or post bathroom cleanses!
This Essential Oil Hand Spray is gentle on your skin andtough on germs and dirt. The formula combinesantibacterial essential oils ofLavender andTasmanian Pepper withAloe Vera and Vitamin E to keep your handsclean without drying them out.
It's even been confirmed by independent lab testing to kill99.9% of germs. Theconvenient50ml spray bottle is perfect to take on the go and will last up to400 sprays! Which means, the 300ml will give you up to 2,400 sprays!! *woot woot*
8. Sun Protection
Perfect for sports days or field trips!
ThisSunbutter Sunscreen provides powerful broad spectrum SPF50+ protection from UVA and UVB rays for 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 involveless 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!
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.
GFZ team xx