As some of you know, before The Green Mommy was saving the planet, she was a 5th grade teacher. Every August, a few times a week, she’d go to her classroom and work hard to make it into a creative space for her new students. She was “getting greener” every year but just didn’t think of it that way — it was more like “recycling old things into new things” on the cheap! She wishes she knew more about the dangers of PVC plastic back then and how she could have helped to eliminate it from her classroom.
“PVC is unique among plastics because it contains dangerous chemical additives. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. What’s worse is the danger these chemicals posephthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time posing unnecessary dangers to children. Over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften or plasticize PVC products. Children are at risk from even small exposures to these toxic chemicals. That’s why it’s important to purchase PVC-free school supplies.”
- PVC products are often labeled with the word “vinyl” on the packaging
- To identify PVC packaging, see if it has the number “3” inside it, or the letters “V” or “PVC” underneath it. This means the product is made out of PVC.
The Center for Health, Environments & Justice’s (CHEJ) just put out its 2010 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies list. There you can find everything PVC-free from binders, notebooks, pencils cases, and much, much more.
But here are a few PVC-free school items The Green Mommy has always liked:
- Sandwich or snack bags: Snack Taxi, Eco*Ditty, or some Etsy creations here and here.
- Rain gear
- Lunch boxes/bags: Crocodile Creek, Laptop Lunches, L. L. Bean, Skip Hop
- Backpacks: Lands End, Skip Hop, Jansport, Crocodile Creek
- Water bottles: Klean Kanteen, CamelBak, Thermos, Think Sport
The Eco Women are not employed by any of the companies mentioned, nor were they paid to review these products.