When looking for an eco-friendly backpack for your child this year make sure you keep the following in mind…
- Look for materials made with recycled content, organic fabrics and/or PVC-free materials. PVC is made with toxic chemicals and can offgas harmful fumes.
- Look for a long-lasting bag. Of course it’s hard to know going in how long a backpack will last which is why it pays to do some research. A bag that breaks half-way through the year is not eco-friendly because you’ll just need to buy a new bag. Look for product reviews that state more than, “It’s good” or “It sucks.” Some bloggers will give any old product a great review simply because they got the product for free, so read more than one.
- Aim for safety and comfort. Actually green is good, but safety is VERY important for kids as well. In this case, I’d almost say go with safe before green. The American Physical Therapy Association notes that the wrong backpack may result in musculoskeletal injuries, back and shoulder strain and other injuries. Read Is Your Backpack Making The Grade? (pdf) to learn more about backpack safety.
Following are some decent eco-friendly backpack choices. Starting with the only one I’ve reviewed lately – Ecogear.
I gave it to a pal and she’s still using it and it’s going strong, even though she’s got a three year old who likes to kick it around. This bag is perfect for high school or middle school students and is super comfortable. Ecogear also makes bags for younger kids like their organic EcoZoo Series and Kids Panda.
Skip Hop Zoo Packs are fun and functional, made with whimsical and useful details along with durable chemical-free materials. Each pack has a roomy main compartment, insulated pouch for snacks and adjustable mesh bottle pocket, plus easy to clean lining and padded, adjustable comfy straps. This is a good starter pack for little ones just beginning school.
- Skip Hop Zoo Pack Owl Backpack
- Skip Hop Zoo Pack in Doggy, Penguin, Monkey or Mouse
- The Newest Skip Hop Zoo Pack (to be released soon) in Zebra or Frog
- Skip Hop Zoo Pack Bee Backpack
Every year BILLIONS of drink pouches end up in dumpsters and landfills across America – many of them from school lunches. Lucky for you, TerraCycle teams up with Capri Sun and Honest Kids to make backpacks from discarded juice pouches which means a few less juice pouches in the landfills.
Hopefully more cool eco-friendly backpacks coming up soon- it’s tough to find affordable and green packs, but I’m still looking.