Picking out school supplies has always been an unusually exciting time for me- even as a kid! When I taught high school, I relished the same enjoyment while preparing my classroom. I didn’t want summer to end, but it was like a fresh new start in the middle of the year: it’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and set a new tone for the school year. It’s also an opportunity to provide a safe, non-toxic classroom for you and your students.
Between artificial air fresheners and toxic cleaning supplies, most schools are laden with chemicals. Even if your building is slow to adopt green school methods, you can create an eco-friendly classroom for everyone’s greater well-being.
5 simple switches from conventional products can have a dramatic impact not only health, but student’s focus as well.
1. The days of chalk boards are essentially gone, now replaced with white boards. But, conventional dry erase markers can cause allergic reactions stronger than old chalk dust. The common dry erase marker ingredient Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, can cause not only headaches, but also nose/eye irritation and nausea.
Switch to Friendly Dry Erase Markers which are MIK, xylene, toluene, and VOC-free.
2. Artificial air fresheners can be a headache for more than one reason. Synthetic fragrances can trigger severe allergic reactions including nervous and respiratory effects. Not to mention the other chemicals included that have been shown to case endocrine and reproductive system damage.
Switch to pure essential oils and the AromaMist vaporizer. Try lavender (Relax) for calming, peppermint (Refresh) for mental focus and immunity boosting, or orange (Awake) for those early mornings.
Ease your mind, and concerns for reactions with Green Envee Children’s Soap and Lotion. No nut oils, synthetic fragrances, or artificial ingredients here, just pure organic essential oils and nut-free oils.
4. Just because “pink erasers” are on every back to school supply list doesn’t mean petroleum-based products are the only option. Once upon a time erasers were actually made from sap (latex) from the sustainable rubber tree. Guess what? Maped still makes them that way!
Recycled erasers are another option to those made from petroleum, vinyl, or PVC!
5. Conventional highlighters carry the same chemical-allergy concern as dry erase markers. Skip the VOC’s and synthetic scents with Friendly Highlighters. Gluten-allergies? No worries. These highlighters are free of gluten, milk, and their by-products.
Trying to avoid highlighter ink completely? Another great eco-friendly highlighter option are these Highlighter Sticks. Biodegradable and made from sustainable wood, these sticks won’t bleed though paper and are more line-specific for smaller text.