Is everyone feeling back in the swing of things with kids returning to school last week? The last ‘to do’ on my back-to-school list in the hopes of feeling less stress is using Mabel’s Labels. Last year I helped both my boys put their initials on every crayon, marker, pencil, color pencil, etc. and realized why everyone I know has ordered a Mabel’s Label set..talk about making your life easier. I can also see the items that we labelled over the weekend actually sticking around for more than 1 school year because the supplies are so neat and organized. Hard for stuff to go missing when a child’s first and last name are printed on their gear. I received the Colourful Ultimate Back-to-School Combo from Mabel’s Labels and the quantities and types of labels were perfect for my Grade 1 and and Grade 3 boys. I like the tags for clothing (yes, already testing running them through the wash and dryer without any problems), lunch gear such as stainless steel water bottles that always seem to go missing, and of course, school supplies. There is also a sheet of 16 shoe labels and that will last us a few years since the boys only own a few pairs of shoes each. If you only need a certain type of label (Tag Mates, Skinny-Minis, Shoe Labels, Clothing Labels, etc.) there is an option on the site to just order this one type which will lower cost. There are also some great deals on shipping – read more here.
Although this doesn’t apply with all schools, my boys wear a uniform so labelling shirts and sweaters for obvious reasons is awesome! Last year both my boys lost their school sweaters and there was no point even checking the lost and found unless they were labelled. This year, that is all under control and I’ve washed and dried the clothes and the label tag label still looks clear and straight.
Thank you Mabel’s Labels for helping me feel more organized with the Colourful Ultimate Back-to-School Combo! Another point to mention is they have very cool label designs for boys that have outgrown dinosaurs or cars themes. The designs match the grown-up names for boys wanting an older design motif with ‘Night Racer’, ‘Big Wave’, ‘Blue Storm’. Play around to view these designs by clicking here. Mabel’s Labels would be a great company to assist with school fundraising – view more information on this initiative by clicking here.
I really enjoy hand selecting the companies and products I decide to support with back-to-school shopping. Although there is still a long way to go, my criteria is always to support local when possible and try to eliminate school supplies that may contain chemicals. Although it’s more work, I opt out of purchasing the boxed school supplies that can be purchased through our school district in the hopes of not saving money, but selecting more eco-friendly back-to-school products. One item however, got past my radar this year and I wanted to share. While shopping at Staples for back-to-school supplies, I went straight to the ‘green’ section to try and shave off some time with shopping. Happy to see an eco option for scissors, I grabbed the same pair that I purchased last year, (Westcott brand) with the labelling Kleen Earth, made from recycled materials. When I arrived home I noticed that the meaning behind the ‘Kleen’ title is that the handles are ‘protected’ with Microban which is an antibacterial property. Last year I thought this was a good thing…every time my kid uses the scissors, they get a little cleaning. Well this year I know better and another name for Microban is Triclosan which is a toxic ingredient that should be avoided. I’ve written about Triclosan before, please read here for more information. So I felt double ticked off because those scissors simply shouldn’t have been in the ‘green’ section of Staples – I’ll even say a bit of greenwashing going on with the marketing of this product. I called Staples and voiced my concerns and said I will have to return them. I’ve since asked parents who purchased the box of school supplies and their scissors also have Microban handles. If this is the case with your school’s supplies, please contact the rep handling the ordering for school supplies and ask that Microban be excluded from future orders because this chemical is harmful to the environment and human health. I posted this experience on the Mommy Footprint fan page wall and had another mom report seeing microban pencils being sold too. How disgusting! Really, why do we need antibacterial chemicals covering our pencils and scissors….it’s gross and a toxin that really doesn’t need to be touching our children each day at school.
This article wraps up our 2010 Back-to-School reviews at Mommy Footprint. If you are still having a tough time finding products for the classroom, lunch-time, or clothing/accessories for your children, please post a comment on our Facebook wall and we’ll figure out a solution.
2010 Litterless Lunch Category