This week I’m tackling back-to-school shopping and following the Buyerarchy of needs, meaning the first step is using what we have. Last spring we emptied backpacks and kept what can be used again, backpacks, lunch items, scissors, colored pencils, those types of items. If you’re starting from scratch, buy items that will last for years, things like stainless steel food containers, sturdy lunchboxes and backpacks. SCRAP, in downtown Portland, has a large supply of school supplies and it’s a good place to start for pens, pencils and those types of items. When it comes to clothes, check out thrift stores or set up a clothing swap with other parents.

Image by Sarah Lazarovio

Sustainable back to school guide

Fast Company’s guide to eco friendly back to school gear