High-Grade Goods: Take Back-to-School Shopping Back to the Earth

08/24/2010 12:12 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Costa Rica's TNF Ecopapers makes tree-free notebooks using 80% postconsumer waste and 20% banana fibers that would otherwise have been trashed. The ruled
pages are printed with water-based inks. $7 to $8

These pens and mechanical pencils from Paper Mate look and feel like regular plastic but are made of biodegradable sugar-plant parts. Their packaging is plastic-free and 100 percent recyclable. $1.70 for the pen; $2.70 for the pencil

Students need to stay (a) hydrated and (b) caffeinated. Earthlust keeps BPA out of the mix with its stainless-steel water bottles and insulated mugs, which are flecked with delicate nature scenes. The family-owned company donates 1% of its profits to environmental charities--plus $1 for each of its Facebook fans. $16 to $23

Save money (and cafeteria leftovers and dozens of to-go boxes) with the reusable stainless-steel containers from LunchBots. Or, to evoke grade-school nostalgia, you could scout a thrift store or eBay for a vintage version. $13 to $17

Despite its clunky name, the Vaio W Series 212AX Eco Edition from Sony
is a sleek laptop. Its plastic exterior is partly derived from cast-off
CDs and DVDs, and its carrying case is made of recycled plastic
bottles. Other green features include a 10-inch LED screen and a
76-page digital (rather than paper) manual. $500

The hanging organizer from Kangaroom Storage
is made entirely of recycled materials and pays tribute to a
generation's digital fixation, with its pattern of IM acronyms and
emoticons. (OMG!) There's also a matching shower caddy. $17 for the
hanging organizer; $8 for the shower caddy

photos by Lori Eanes