LAST CHANCE TO ENTER: Win an Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Kit Worth $90!

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The first day of school is quickly approaching. Is your tot stocked up on supplies and ready to go? We’re here to help! We scored some amazing eco-friendly back-to-school supplies and now we’re giving $270 worth of swag away to three lucky winners. Each $90 back-to-school prize package includes a monkey Ecozoo backpack from Ecogear, a BPA- and phthalate-free Skip Hop Bento Mealtime Kit, a set of Clementine Art Natural Soy Crayons, and a $25 gift certificate to shop Ethical Ocean’s amazing selection of eco-friendly back-to-school supplies and gear. Read on to find out how to win one of the three kits, and in the meantime, you can use promo code ‘BackToSchool’ to get 10% off your green school supply order from Ethical Ocean through September 13! You’ll find everything from recycled pencils and notebooks to Fair Trade soccer balls and waste-free lunch kits – check out our favorites in our list of must-have green school supplies.

Here’s how to enter to win an eco-friendly back-to-school kit worth $90! You have 3 chances to win!

1) Sign up for our weekly newsletter (with your real name). We’ll be notifying the winners in our newsletter – so you need to sign up and receive our newsletter to find out if you have won. *Note: we need your real name in addition to an email address!

2) Like Inhabitots on facebook.

3) Add a comment to this post with your answer to the following question: What back to school item do you always seem to buy new for your kid year after year? (extra points for creative answers!) Please be patient – comments don’t appear instantly because they must be approved.

Contest ends Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 12 midnight EST. Open to US residents only. Winner will be announced in the following week’s newsletter!

+ Ethical Ocean Back to School (save 10% with code: BackToSchool)

+ Ecozoo Backpack $36

+ Skip Hop Bento Mealtime Kit

+ Clementine Art Natural Soy Crayons

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107 Responses to “LAST CHANCE TO ENTER: Win an Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Kit Worth $90!”

  1. tarrasclan says:

    I have not figured out what they do with them but I always need to replace folders. NOw we homeschool so you would think I would be able to figure out what they do with them but every summer without fail not a single folder in the house??

  2. lacelk says:

    boots and shoes because golly those little feet grow and grow.

  3. hopesmusings says:

    Every year I buy 3 new and important things: lip gloss with SPF (safe), scented travel-sized hand sanitizer (clean) and mini-note cards to send “mommy love notes” to school each day (loved).

  4. Nicoleaustinak says:

    Backpack Even for myself growing up we all needed a new backpack.

  5. mkokopelli says:

    We always buy new pens, markers, pencils, notebooks, and organizational stuff. This year we added more lunch gear 🙂

  6. Gapch918 says:

    They always seem to need new pens and highlighters. We stock up on pencils and paper bought on clearance once every few years so that isn’t needed at the last minute. After my older kids were past the themed backpack years they just reused their plain one so it made it easier. Now with a younger one the backpack will be back to new every year but now I know to donate the old one.

  7. amygaskin says:

    We’re an unschooling family of four kids with quite a wide array of interests – so new school supplies can range from pencils, paper, paints, and plasti-tak to piano music, pastry cutters, pliers, and petri dishes! But I must say what I seem to buy over and over are microscope slides. Favorite specimens all too often meet the tragic fate of being snapped in half by our resident 2 year old.

  8. lilibeelee says:

    Crayons! It’s always the crayons!

  9. kalohabreeze says:

    follow on fb and via email. I have to say the thing to buy every year.. a new class pet. Yeah no one really thinks about those types of things unless you happen to go not so all out and get one of the cheapo guppies, hermit crabs, or other not so long lasting critter that ends up smelling up a corner of your room. Yeah…doubt skip hop makes an indestructible guppy, but a backpack for the kiddos would be nice 😛

  10. Kaela Wells says:

    I feel like I am always buying backpacks! They get ruined each year. When I was a kid I kept mine for years at a time.

  11. kikaibear says:

    Def Lunch goodies like the lunch bags, water bottles, stainless steel canisters, things for lunch we always buy new every year as needed. We give the old ones away to the school to be reused. 🙂

  12. plinkokid says:

    I always make a trip to our local Japanese dollar store and get new supplies for bento box lunches and also pick up an assortment of small stationary so I can leave little notes in their lunches. I think it eases them a bit to see something written ‘from home’ especially in the first few weeks of school. And it’s super cute!!

  13. momto3 says:

    School supplies bought every year… Crayons & pencils. For some reason, our 5 & 7 year olds break almost every crayon and pencil (multiple times!) by the end of the year. When they bring home their school supplies at the end of the year they have triple the amount of items in their pencil box due to breakage!

  14. ableonard says:

    My kids haven’t reached school years yet but I know it will be school supply stuff like notebooks, pens, markers, etc. I’m a sucker for that stuff!

  15. dadastudio says:

    This is the first year my kids will be going to school, so I can’t quiet say what I’ll be buying year after year. But I can only imagine that pencils, glue sticks and all the necessary school supplies will be a must to buy new each year. I was so excited to see all the great “green” school supplies that are available now- especially Smencils ( the pencils that are made from recycled newpapers that are scented)!

  16. Mama K says:

    Every year we pick a new design for lunchbag notes. My daughter adores reading what mommy left for her, before starting her lunch. My daughter loses her arts & crafts supplies all the time. We constantly replace those.
    Nguyenhkathy at gmail dot com

  17. cktam888 says:

    Shoes and school clothes.

  18. nosila450 says:

    I always seem to buy socks…and name labels. My kids are still in childcare, so we haven’t had to buy the loads of school supplies, but we do get new name labels every year since we have to stick their name on everything that enters the center.

  19. astewart743 says:

    We love to support Soft Star Shoes. ( They are completely made from locally sourced leather in Corvallis, OR. They are by far our favorite kid product!!! WE LOVE THEIR SHOES!! 🙂

  20. Bunny says:

    For some reason we replace backpacks. I don’t know what happens to them during the year, but they get trashed.

  21. jewelsntreasures says:

    I always feel as if I am buying crayons. Either they get lost, broken, or eaten by the baby sister at home! 😉 Thus they need to constantly be replaced!

  22. aahaft says:

    I’m a newsletter subscriber

  23. aahaft says:

    inhabitots facebook fan

  24. aahaft says:

    Ii always seem to have to buy new crayons and markers

  25. danielles says:

    I actually don’t buy anything new unless something is broken or I sadly find out that a product I’m using is not safe :(. I still cannot believe that there are products that are unsafe for our children on the market. Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway!

  26. dwaynew says:

    Lunch boxes. They always grow out of the one they have or it eventually gets lost conventiently half way through the year or so.

  27. Brekkenholtrop says:

    Well, I’d have to say, the thing that’s bought year after year is “cool” folders. They’re so very destructible, and most kids, well, destroy such things very easily. Backpacks can last YEARS with a needle and thread as well as some unique patches to “update” them.

  28. Leisha says:


  29. krmaki says:

    Every year I buy a new planner with a calendar attached. Every school year inbetween the pencils and folders, I purchase a fun cup for the kids. =]

  30. Heather O says:

    Year after year, our most important school supply would have to be wool socks. They keep feet dry and happy in our wet climate here, plus they last a long time with MANY wearings, so we can be hand them down to the younger kids 🙂

  31. sara myrick says:

    Ice packs and back packs! Ice packs can only be frozen and thawed just so many times before they start leaking yucky blue stuff at the worst possible time! Back packs can only be crammed full of just so much stuff before they refuse to zip up anymore!

  32. JHINNH says:

    Clothes, seems like the inches keep coming, growing like weeds

  33. KarenZ says:

    I have to replace quite a few binders every year. They break like crazy. No matter what kind of binder it is even if its one of those cool rubber ones, they always get torn up.

  34. Kategarros says:

    I buy my school supplies at the end of the previous year, through a PTA fundraiser. It’s easier and it supports a good cause–a no brained!

  35. wigget says:


  36. crystle tellerday says:


  37. shelliferb says:

    Our son is still a toddler, but we’ve purchased him a new small backpack the last two years, for preschool.

  38. shelliferb says:

    I like Inhabitots on Facebook.

  39. shelliferb says:

    I am signed up for your newsletter

  40. juliemartinez13 says:

    I always end up buying crayons and notebooks and also backpack they never get there school supply back from school ;/ so we always buy new supply every year 😉

  41. mommypants13 says:

    Notebooks pens and shoes, I love new notebooks and pens and I feel like new shoes are a must for a first day of school!

  42. tmoyer6980 says:

    Email Subscriber

  43. Ginaferrell says:

    I would have to say crayons. I wonder if they eat them instead of coloring with them 🙂

  44. jsavage81 says:

    We always get a new lunch bag, because even when we wash the one from last yar it is pretty gross!

  45. Grandma Carol says:

    New crayons, cool pencils and construction paper. Let the creativity flow!

  46. motherofpurl says:

    It’s my oldest son’s first year of school–so I don’t buy anything every year for him… yet. BUT, every fall I buy crayons. You know, for myself. 😉

  47. RealFoodOutlaws says:

    I subscribe via email and like on FB. I’ve had my Kleen Kanteen for years but for some reason, my kids beat their water bottles up so badly each year that I end up buying new ones.

  48. jessbababet says:

    Back packs for sure! Their five star binders sometimes make it through a year relatively unscathed, but the poor back packs take a beating. Maybe rolling Samsonite luggage would resolve the issue? Remember the old commercial with the gorilla jumping up and down on the suitcase?

  49. wneely says:

    It seems that every year I have to buy more and more tissues and hand sanitizer. If we could keep the kids home when they get sick maybe we could save a few trees and not have to constantly restock the classrooms with unnecessary items.

  50. ScissortailArtSchool says:

    Every year, so far…we are buying boogie wipes for back to school. They are moistened with saline solution so it doesn’t hurt my son’s (2 1/2years old) nose

  51. InfiJess says:

    Underwear!! I think it’s a conspiracy to make us buy new characters for their booties!! I want to try iron on designs and tie dye this year!!

  52. Karen Thompson says:

    Adorable!! Thanks for the chance!! <3

  53. karen thompson says:

    My other answer didn’t seem to post (It sent me back to go to my email to complete registration so….)

    Every year I buy my peanut a backpack zipper pull!! I try to invest in backpacks she will get 2 or 3 years out of so to make it feel like ‘new’ I buy her little zipper pulls!! She loves them and I think it’s fun 🙂

  54. amyprry says:

    Folders! Though I’m sure there will be other things that I learn along the way this is only the second school year that I will have kids in school!

  55. waiting4themoon says:

    a backpack and oddly enough, new underwear. i associate a new beginning with new underwear. love this giveaway!

  56. mrmylove says:

    I tend to have to purchase lunch related items for my daughter. Lunch boxes, water bottles, containers.

  57. rDogg87 says:

    Great giveaway. Every year I purchase a month-at-a-glance notebook style calendar. Not only do we record upcoming events at school and home. It sounds outdated (don’t worry, I keep electronic calendars too), but it doubles as a short-form journal and scrapbook- we tape in event tickets, school photos, or even just pictures of what interests my little one at the time (these days, anything CARS). I still have mine from college, they are little treasures that don’t take up much space in our little green home.

  58. rdogg87 says:

    Great giveaway. Every year I purchase a month-at-a-glance notebook style calendar. Not only do we record upcoming events at school and home~It sounds outdated (don’t worry, I keep electronic calendars too)~ but it doubles as a short-form journal and scrapbook. We tape in event tickets, school photos, or even just pictures of what interests my little one at the time (these days, anything CARS). I still have mine from college, they are little treasures that don’t take up much space in our little green home.

  59. jaimie k says:

    I don’t know yet. My oldest starts kindergarten this year and I’m dying! My little girl is big enough for school?? Not possible!

  60. noodlz1974 says:

    Fresh pens, pencils.

  61. noodlz1974 says:

    A backpack, pen, pencils.

  62. ktgonyea says:

    Socks and Undies 🙂

    Karen Gonyea
    ktgonyea at

  63. lindahawes says:

    Year after year, new things for the school year are clothes and erasers.

  64. carrierogers2 says:

    Lunchboxes! We wear them out, or they get stinky, or lost… or just plain want a new look!

  65. rainemarie says:

    Oh goodness, backpacks, new jeans (I have boys & for some reason they like to make holes in the knees) : )
    New toothpaste (cheesy I know, but it’s exciting for them) I also schedule their dental cleaning’s & physical’s. My oldest is in elementary & my youngest just started pre-school from the toddler room. 🙂
    We are taking them to Rainforest Cafe to celebrate back to school week as a special treat : )

  66. karen cylc says:

    I buy what each child requires to feel GOOD about going back to school. One son likes a new backpack and folders and the other prefers new novelty clothes. As a teacher, I know what most schools already supply and what might still be needed. However, for my chidren, I focus our going back to school experience on building a positive experience together.

  67. Christine M Tubbytelly says:

    We always buy new and different eraser sets. They come in so many shapes and figures and themes that you have to try them out all year long!

    Signed up for the newsletter.

    Liked page on Facebook.

  68. JLJMommy says:

    I get your newsletters.

  69. jljmommy says:

    I like Inhabitots on Facebook: Kimberlie S.T

  70. jljmommy says:

    We seem to need new shoes and pants every year, sometimes twice a year. Pants not due to growth, but with my boys, they seem to rip holes in the knees faster than I can patch them. Same thing with shoes. Holes in the toes. My boys are hard on clothes!

  71. pink026 says:

    I already follow your newsletter

  72. pink026 says:

    Already a loving fan on facebook!

  73. pink026 says:

    I always buy a brand new lunch bag to get them excited about their lunch! They get to pick it out and they always look forward to it.
    Also, usually notebooks, and folders.

  74. rclar says:

    Absolutely adorable

  75. chelsd says:

    Immune boosting vegan vitamins, vegan make up, hand sanitizer and a reusable canteen.

  76. jenallen76 says:

    I seem to buy more lunch box supplies each year because half of it gets throw away. I don’t know how someone can NOT notice a reusable container as opposed to a baggie!

  77. catLoversInc says:

    Apples for the teacher, bookmarks for friends and lovely green pencils for the little one.

  78. clkeyzer says:

    We dont have to purchase anything new..other than pencils and we stick with Smencils for now..made out of old newspaper..

  79. heartfelt home says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter.

  80. I follow you on facebook!

  81. For back to school – slippers are a must. We homeschool and live in chilly New Englad. It is hard to study when you have cold piggies.

  82. mantousmom says:

    My son hasn’t started school yet, but he definitely needs diapers at daycare. We use gDiapers of course!

  83. jenallen76 says:

    I usually have to buy more reusable lunch containers, they seem to end up in the trash during the year. (Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?)

  84. scaw says:

    We have not had to buy any new lunch bags, water bottles, or food containers since my children started preschool 3 years ago. The one thing I do buy new is a new sandwich cutter or cookie cutters to help decorate their lunches.

  85. Gines07 says:

    I buy new apps for her to play while waiting in traffic so she doesn’t fall asleep on the way home from school. I reload my Starbucks gc app on my iPhone so I have my coffee allowance.

  86. MEGMAUS says:

    Somehow we always end up wit far more lunch munchy type containers than lids so we have to start all over again. I believe we’ve got an eraser eater in the house too so we’ll need new pencils to replace all of the barely used –but eraserless ones. 🙂

  87. auntiethesis says:

    Another school year, kiss summer good-bye
    It goes so fast, how time does fly
    Back to school shopping once again
    It’s never too early to let the shopping begin
    Year after year, again without fail
    I search for a backpack, hopefully on sale
    It’s got to be perfect, the seams just can’t quit
    The last one we had, the whole side just split
    The straps wear out fast, the whole bottom is worn
    Who makes a backpack that just can’t be torn?
    I blame my son; it’s not a shot put
    They’re not made to toss, or kick with your foot!

  88. naomimit says:

    My daughter is starting Kindergarten this year and I’m still not sure what she’ll need! But we did have to buy some new socks and shoes since her feet grew a whole size bigger during the past couple of months.

  89. emmageisler says:

    I always need binders for school.

  90. Nanineib says:

    This is my son’s First year in school and frankly I am freaking out. But one thing I know I cannot have enough of are creative lunch ideas. He is not a picky eater, but likes to change it up, plus he is a veggie (like me) so I want him to be cool, but still be healthy. So wish me luck in finding cool, allergy friendly, earth friendly recipes 🙂 Love the site!!!

  91. BernadetteB says:

    Envelopes – lots of envelopes!
    Those special notes to teachers
    Those now and then sick notes
    Those requests for permission to leave school early
    The money for more fees
    The money for more contributions
    The money for donations
    The money for school funds
    The money for emergencies
    The money for lunch on the days we’ve run out of lunch stuff
    The money for school outings
    The extra forms that have to be completed throughout the year
    Surveys and Questionnaires to Parents
    Permission forms for school trips and school photos
    Parent Teacher meeting appointments
    School Insurance Forms
    Etc., etc., etc.

  92. Joy P says:

    My daughter just started preschool this year. But one thing that I ABSOLUTELY know I will be buying throughout the year is going to be socks… She says that the dryer monster eats them thats why she loses them =P

  93. domesticdarna says:

    My son is just about to start school.. we will likely be needing new clothes and shoes every school year.. until he outgrows his little boy urge to jump off from everything taller than himself and to slide on his knees .. apparently landing on feet is overrated in preschool!

  94. Valarie says:

    This fall is our first adventure into school-land with my son starting preschool next week. I think the one thing I’ll be wishing I could by, year after year, is more time with my little ones to enjoy just a few more days of the sunshine of summer before each school year starts!

    That and shoes — I’m sure we’ll always need new shoes.

  95. thund3rbox says:

    Lunch boxes, shoes, clothes (uniforms), and backpacks always seem like the essential items we buy, then, since we are in Socal, there is the late-fall scramble for rain gear that we always for get to buy earlier for that few weeks of downpour we get. Oh, and we make a run to Costco for mega lunch supplies.

  96. jwhedon says:

    Well MY baby isn’t old enough to be buying school supplies for, but with 3 step-kids, it seems every year we buy them new shoes… then of course school supplies, etc. but the shoes are what they get excited about…

  97. eobehrens says:

    Colored pencils!! I guess the creativity goes all summer too because there are only a couple colored pencils lefts from every box I seem to buy!

  98. monstersmom says:

    I signed up for emails and i liked you already on facebook!!

    a new school year always means new backpacks and new school supplies, our schools take all schools supplies up at the beginning of the year and use them throughout the year so by the end of the year nothing is left for the kids to take home!

  99. Mighty Quynh says:

    Toothbrushes! Back to school is a great reminder to change toothbrushes. We also upgraded the insulated drinking cups and food containers this year.

  100. adicota says:

    The one thing I always buy new are shoes!!! My five year old goes through shoes like crazy! Also a must have are jeans another thing he grows out of quickly. Other then that I try to recycle and re-use what we already have such as markers, pencils, notebooks, etc. You’d be amazed at how much un used paper is being wasted and thrown away at the end of the school year!

  101. jaynababy says:

    Every year we buy a new backpack. Not only does my daughter beg for one, as she is very ‘style’ savy, haha, but it’s the only big thing we buy every year that is a tradition and she gets excited about. Otherwise very little is bought so we can reuse some items for at least another school year if possible.

  102. mighty quynh says:

    Toothbrushes! We always buy toothbrushes. Back to school is a great time to remember to replace your old ones. We also upgrade their insulated drink and food containers this year.

  103. VTnate says:

    I buy new binders. I insist on using mechanical pencils, but pens go dry.

  104. Tita says:

    hair bands, undies and shoes – covering all the bases, I suppose!

  105. Leah says:

    I just signed up for your weekly newsletter (Leah Friedman)! : )

    Thanks so very much for this fabulous give~away! : )


  106. jessicafairy says:

    Shoes! It’s always the shoes! My school boy grows super fast and just destroy shoes!

  107. Lorien says:

    Fall is the season of new shoes 🙂 After a summer of sun and berries, my kiddo has always sprouted right out of last winter’s runners. Sandals are put away for a younger sibling, but runners have earned their rest. The negotiation with the small fry: sensible, long-wearing sneakers, or the flashing joy of light-ups to scuff through the fallen leaves at dusk…

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