After a rare trip to the mall today, I wanted to point out something that occurred to me about licensed school supplies. I am very confident that a Nick Jr., Hannah Montana, Spiderman backpack does not exists without containing PVC. With parents being overwhelmed with information on materials to shop for with back-to-school…the topic of backpacks is easy. Unless the backpack clearly says “No PVC” it has probably been made with PVC. If the backpack is $9.99 at a big box store, it has probably been made with PVC. Also, I hate to say it, but if you want to purchase a new PVC-free backpack for children returning to school, you’re not going to find it at most malls. But don’t get disappointed because Ecogear is here and the options are amazing!
Two items that traditionally have been the hardest to avoid with PVC are backpacks and plastic binders, but it’s not all doom and gloom because there are some affordable PVC-free backpacks on sale right now at Ecogear. The Ecogear lineup of backpacks are PVC-free, great quality, affordable and now 25% off. Starting with younger children looking for non-licensed characters there is the Ecozoo series – very fun and made with cotton fabric.
For older kids attending school all day – I’ve received my two backpacks from the Genus and Recycle series and I’m very happy with both backpacks for my boys. The design and quality is awesome and I was extremely happy to not get off-gassed with chemical smells when opening them from the box. The Snow Leopard backpack for my 8 year old son is a great size for him. Since he is on the tall side, I would recommend it for ages 10 and up. The pack comes with straps around the front to help balance weight distribution and lots of handy pockets for gadgets, etc. The straps are padded to offer more support once the backpacks get full from heavy books and materials. These backpacks are PVC-free, made from non-toxic dyes, and have many little organizer pockets in the front and one main compartment for books and lunch.
My 6 year old son received a Palila backpack and it’s perfect for younger kids attending school all day. It has a handy side pocket for a reusable water bottle, a built in wallet (my boys love this feature!), made PVC-free with non-toxic dyes and is made from recycled bottles. All the backpack for older kids on the Ecogear site have the swagger of very cool, outdoor/adventure styled backpacks – I love this. And Ecogear is currently having a 25% discount on their site so take advantage of the savings….these backpacks are just under $30 which is a great deal! If any Canadians are trying to order from the Ecogear site, you’ll notice it only accepts US zip codes. I spoke to Ecogear and the process for Canadians wanting to order a product is to contact Angie by calling 1-800-762-4533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents within the USA can order directly on-line.
Why should we be avoiding PVC again? It’s not only to help the environment – it’s for your children’s health. PVC is called the poison plastic and releases dioxins into the air from the time it’s produced and continues to off-gass (the reason it smells when you purchase it) and there isn’t a way to effectively dispose of this material. If you burn it – more dioxins are released, it cannot be recycled, so it will continue to exist when discarded for a very long time. Read more about PVC from Mommy Footprint here. Also, an always incredible resource is the Environmental Working Group and they’ve written a short guide for ‘Green Back-to-School Guide for K-12‘ and there is more information on PVC.
To read more articles with back-to-school recommendations for reducing chemical exposure to BPA, PVC, and phthalates, check out the category 2010 Litterless Lunch.