There’s nothing like coming home after a long day at school, grabbing a book and cozying up under soft sheets. Home is your safe haven, your cocoon, a place where you can surround yourself with all your favorite things.
But what does your home say about your relationship to the planet?
All too often we select furnishings, bedding, and decor based purely on look and feel, without any consideration for the environmental impacts of these items. The reality is that many futons, lamps, and desk chairs aren’t doing Mother Earth any favors. They come wrapped in tons of plastic and styrofoam packaging, they’re shipped to the United States from halfway around the world, and they’re made from unsustainable materials.
And those sheets you love so much? Don’t get us started. Many conventional sheets, comforters, and pillows have been soaked in hazardous flame-retardant chemicals before making their way into your sacred sleep spot. Not to mention that most conventional cotton sheets are made from cotton that has been doused in pesticides.
So does this mean you have to throw everything out, buy all new stuff, and rebuild your room from the ground up? Hardly. Here are the best ways to green your space:
- Recycle. If you do get rid of some things, see if you can dispose of them sustainably. Consider donating!
- Repurpose. Rather than going to the store to buy new items, find creative uses for things you already have. Need a waste bin? How about that basket that’s been lying around? Need wall art? How about a favorite sarong or scarf? The possibilities are endless.
- Upcycle. Make old things look new again by getting crafty and giving them a fresh flair.
- Source sustainably. Make sure new purchases aren’t traveling too far to get to you, and are made from sustainable materials. Check out Made Safe’s tips for avoiding toxic chemicals in your bed.
- Live with less. You probably don’t need everything you have. Go through your space and see what you can live without. As a general rule, if you haven’t touched it in a year, it’s probably safe to assume you can do without it.
Doing these things will not only reduce your impact but will also allow you to create an exceptional space that is uniquely you.
And as far as bedding is concerned, we do recommend springing for organic cotton sheets, comforters stuffed with organic cotton or wool, and organic pillows. We promise they’re so dreamy you’ll never want to get out of bed again!
Download TG’s Back-to-School Checklist here.
Decorate your way towards a healthier planet and a healthier you by choosing conscious alternatives from the brands below.
Brighten up your day with the power of Moroccan argan extract and chlorella, a true synergy of rejuvenation. French green clay has a drawing effect and Moroccan argan oil and CoQ10 provide moisture. Apply evenly over the face until you look like a green sea-monster. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly to a refreshed and renewed you.
A shampoo favorite – beautiful scent, and heavenly ingredients – organic argan oil, argan stem cells, organic sea buckthorn oil and organic pumpkin seed oil provide moisture and shine to dry and damaged hair, leaving it soft, manageable and ready to rock.
Gently remove makeup, dirt, sweat, and environmental toxins. No splashy rinsing necessary. Whether you’re running errands, at the office, working out, too lazy to wash your face, these handy all-natural biodegradable Argan Oil towelettes refresh, cleanse, soothe, and detoxify on the spot!
Certified organic wipes with natural ingredients, making them incredibly gentle on your skin. They are infused with the organic essential oils of almond, apricot and chamomile, they leave your skin moisturised, cleansed and refreshed naturally. The soft and strong organic cotton cloth is gentle but effective, removing even waterproof mascara and lipstick.
This soap is the best of both worlds: strong enough to do the serious household cleaning, but gentle enough for sensitive skin. With a blend of organic coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil, and lavender oil, this soap works as everything from facial cleanser to laundry detergent. Talk about a multitasker!
This toothpaste is crafted with non-toxic ingredients, yet still fights against plaque and leaves your teeth clean and fresh without using synthetic flavors or foaming detergents. And it’s fluoride-free.This low-foaming all-in-one product reduces plaque, whitens teeth, and freshens breath. Use it morning and night.
This versatile lotion is light and moisturizing enough to be used on face, hands and body. Nutrient-rich plant extracts and Vitamin E are combined with soothing Aloe and French Lavender essential oil to leave skin nourished and gently scented. Formulated for every body and priced for every budget. Small enough to bring anywhere. 6 fl oz & packaged in a completely recyclable tube.
Boll and Branch has a great selection of colorful banded sheets with a pop or color or a more vintage look with their trimmed sheet set. Bedding sets include one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases. All linens are made ethically with 100% Fair Trade and GOTS-certified organic cotton and eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes.
This towel is versatile and a dorm essential. It is made from 100% organic cotton and uses eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes. Use it for a pool day, lake day, or everyday as a bath towel!
This throw blanket will keep you cozy and warm in your dorm! It is the perfect blend of tradition, beauty and functionality; and best of all, it is made ethically, using Fair Trade Certified cotton and with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes.
Rest easy with a pillow from Holy Lamb Organics. They hand build these pillows with your choice of Premium Eco-Wool™ or Organic Wool batting and then cover it with a silky organic cotton Sateen fabric. The pillows are smooth, soft and come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, all of which support a great night of sleep.
This ultra-light, international carry-on convertible luggage, completely collapses and the frame disassemble for easy storage in small stuff sac. Plus, it has backpack straps so you can remove the frame or wear it as a wheeled backpack. EC Lync™ System packs all the durability that Eagle Creek’s No Matter What™ Warranty promises and the innovation we demand.
This organic energy drink contains natural caffeine derived from yerba mate, green tea, and guarana, powerful antioxidants from Acai Berry and Acerola Cherry and has the same caffeine level as two shots of espresso. Plus it’s USDA Organic and Non GMO Project Verified and sustainably sourced in the Brazillian Amazon.
The athletes and foodies in the Clif Kitchen have crafted a different kind of energy bar. The CLIF Nut Butter Filled Energy Bar brings together two great energy foods – a delicious, creamy nut butter inside an organic energy bar – to deliver sustained energy.
Numi ages organic, non-GMO, and fair trade certified Assam black tea with real Italian Bergamot for several weeks so the tea absorbs the orange scent. Made with organic, non-GMO and Fair Trade ingredients, Numi celebrates people, planet and pure tea.
Savor the hearty, authentic flavors of home-cooked chili in just 10 minutes. Made from certified-organic red and pinto beans, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, herbs and spices, this Red Bean Chili makes comfort food easy on even the most hectic days. It also provides the nutritional power of legumes, with 14 grams of plant-based protein and 12 grams of fiber per serving. Gluten, meat and dairy free.
Celebrate our planet with a delicious bowl of Annie’s Organic Mac & Trees™, featuring Love Your Planet™ pasta shapes including a sun, earth, bicycle, tree and recycle symbol! This eco-themed mac is made with wholesome ingredients and connected to an even greater cause: funding school garden through Annie’s Grants for Gardens program. Annie’s will donate $10,000 of Mac & Trees profits annually to provide additional support for school gardens.
Rainforest-grown, certified organic and fairly traded yerba mate is a high energy infusion made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the celebrated South American mate tree. For centuries, South America’s Aché Guayakí tribe have sipped yerba mate daily for its powerful rejuvenative effects. Guayakí’s mission is to steward and restore 200,000 acres of South American Atlantic Rainforest and create over 1,000 living wage jobs by 2020 through their Market-Driven-Restoration Model.
A great coffee mug solution for hot coffee, cold brew, tea, water and more. Take it anywhere and everywhere – the double-wall vacuum insulation keeps drinks hot and cold for hours. Free of BPA, phthalates, lead and other toxins and a great reusable solution to single use waste.
This stainless steel leak-proof insulated food jar keeps food hot or cold for hours! Pack soup or chili in the morning, and lunch will be steaming when you are ready to eat. Pack smoothies, pasta salad or yogurt and it stays cool until lunchtime. Similar to a thermos, insulated food jars are designed to keep the temperature you start with.
Say so long to disposable plastic utensils! When you’re on the go, enjoy every meal with the reusable To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil set. The set includes a fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks, made from lightweight and strong bamboo wood. The RePEaT holder is made from recycled PET plastic, giving new life to used plastic bottles.
This perfectly green jute and cotton blend back pack can be your ultimate eco carry-all as you are back to school. It has 2 side pockets, 2 front pockets and padded, straps. The materials are biodegradable and recyclable.
Go back to school with eco supplies and support our planet at the same time. Colored pencils, pre-sharpened and made from recycled newspaper.
Bottle to Pen is a retractable, refillable gel ink pen, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. It shows that everyday products can have a second life ; 86% total recycled content with 83% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Express your thoughts in a way that’s good for the planet.
The manufacturer of Environotes was founded over 100 years ago and is one of the oldest, largest, and greenest independently owned manufacturers of notebooks in America. This recycled notebook is produced using 20# BioBased paper made entirely of post-consumer and post-agricultural recycled fiber. And made in the USA.