August 22nd, 2008
Well, slap us with a ruler, it’s time once again to hunt down school supplies, to elbow into the desperate mob with our mandates to secure a thousand pens, pencils, highlighters, fine tip Sharpies, binders and the mysterious “folders with brads.”
With the eco news streaming like ticker tape from the big office stores this year, we thought it would be an easy assignment to find what we needed in recycled versions. We were surprised that this was not the case. The stores we sampled (Office Depot, Office Max and Target) offered only a handful of green notebooks and non-toxic pens. At Office Depot we nearly struck out, looking in vain for recycled filler paper, reasonably priced eco-responsible spiral notepads and pencils made from post-consumer waste. We did spot a reusable shopping bag at the checkout line. But we had only a lone green item, Ticonderoga EnviroStik pencils, to put in it!
Tired of combat crawling through towering stacks of un-green paper and binders, we turned the Internet. Aha! Here we found much greener pastures. Online, even the Big Box stores that had failed us in person had the environmentally good goods. Go figure. Serves us right for expending $4 gasoline to search out environmentally friendly products. Our findings, and a powerfully definitive list it is: