Go Zero Waste with Sustainable School & Office Supplies

The back to school rush doesn’t have to mean a speedy shopping spree for the cheapest disposable items. With a little more care and attention, you can find a sustainable alternative for everything in your pencil case. Upgrade your office desk as well with more eco-friendly stationery and equipment. Save money by going second-hand and do your bit for climate change. Here are some examples of great zero waste alternatives for schools and offices.

Recycled Paper

Opt for recycled paper and notepads. Switch to a tablet or laptop for anything you can do electronically. If you prefer writing with pen and paper, there are plenty of fun sustainable notebooks for kids and adults alike. These brands are all eco-friendly. You can even buy cheap recycled exercise books online for next to nothing.

Sustainable Writing Supplies

Good quality fountain pens are more sustainable than disposable biros. It’s tempting to grab a free pen when you can’t find one but avoid multipacks of cheap plastic single-use pens. For a touch of class at your office you could opt for an ink cartridge converter, these are like a modern-day version of a quill and come with ink refills. Metal pens are also more sustainable.

Replace highlighters in your kids’ pencil cases with eco highlighter pencils. Highlighters and felt tips won’t last long otherwise, and will soon end up in a landfill. Sprout pencils are great for kids’ birthdays and promotional gifts too. You can plant them when you’ve finished using them and they actually grow!

Book Swaps and eBooks

It’s inevitable that your kids will need new books for school. Where possible consider ebooks, they’re more eco-friendly and with cheap vps they can read them securely online. Alternatively, you could set up swap shops for books and try to exchange rather than buying new ones. Charity shops often have plenty of books for children to read. 


With electronics, the most sustainable choice is the one that’s built to last. Electronic waste makes up a lot of the world’s rubbish and it’s not always necessary. Consider getting your devices repaired before you give up on them. Always look at second-hand or restored computers and laptops, as not only are they a cheaper option, they are sold almost new.

There are plenty of online services that collect and recycle electronic waste, so you could look into this if you want to get rid of any home or office supplies. 

Desk Supplies

You’d be surprised how many sustainable options there are out there for your stationery. For example, a staple-free stapler removes any need for wasted staples. You can even buy a recycled hole-punch too. These aren’t any more expensive than the plastic one-use options and for a few quid you can kit out your entire desk. For a unique, eco-friendly design, check out this bamboo calculator as well.

Make your pencil case eco-friendly this year. Always keep in mind the principles of the zero waste pyramid - refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, and rot.

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