5 Ways to Go Back to School with Fair Trade

Aug 22, 2017 11:00 AM ET

5 Ways To Go Back To School With Fair Trade

The school year is upon us. While some of us are getting into a new groove and (if we’re still on top of it) packing lunches and planning outfits the night before, the rest of us are still tying up those odds and ends on our back-to-school shopping list.

Families with kids in elementary through high school plan to spend, on average, $687 each in back to school supplies, according to the National Retail Federation. The way we see it, that amounts to a whole lot of opportunities to put your dollar to good use – for your family and families everywhere. Luckily, Fair Trade Certified makes the right decisions the no-brainers. Think of it this way: When you buy school supplies that are Fair Trade Certified, you aren’t just sending your kids back to school; you’re enabling a brighter future for hard-working families and enabling entire communities to invest in their own education. We’re here to help you make educated decisions as you’re planning lunches, outfits, and new routines, so you can be sure you’re taking care of your entire global family. For starters, here are five times throughout the day you can choose Fair Trade.

At the breakfast table

Who said PB&J only belongs in a lunchbox? Switch things up with a PB&J smoothie, made with Driscoll’s Raspberries and organic agave syrup, for a strong (and naturally gluten-free) start to the day. Or, for a standby everyone can agree on, Cocoa Bunnies Cereal (made with Fair Trade Certified cocoa) is a crowd-pleaser pretty much always.

Clothes shopping

Turns out, what’s in style is also a smart choice for people and planet. Patagonia Kids clothing features an impressive lineup of Fair Trade Certified styles, which probably includes that Patagonia sweater your kid’s been begging for. So, if you’re looking for a good reason to buy it, get this: apparel workers who make Patagonia clothing earned an additional $833,000 in the last three years as a result of Patagonia’s partnership with Fair Trade, funding programs like healthcare and college tuition for their children, and even a daycare center that provides factory workers with free child care.

Packing lunch

With a little preparation, there are countless ways to send your kiddo to school with a fresh, healthy Fair Trade lunch. We found a few moms making it look easy. Check out Landry's Lunches, Let's Bento Mama and Lala Lunchbox for some inspiring ideas.

When it comes to the ever-important backpack decision, we’re eyeing Terra Thread’s Earth Backpack. It’s handmade from 100% organic cotton at a Fair Trade Certified™ factory and comes in a variety of hues, including cobalt blue, denim, brown, charcoal, red, turquoise, olive, yellow, and sand. The hardest decision now is just, which color!?

In the classroom

It’s one thing to educate kids about issues like gender equity, child labor, environmental sustainability, and global economics at home, but how do you approach those issues in school? Fair Trade makes it easy. Fair Trade Campaigns, in collaboration with Creative Change, designed a set of lesson plans specifically for 6-12th grade classrooms, exploring the four topics mentioned above. Teachers are already using this curriculum in a variety of classrooms nationwide, from English and social studies, to biology, environmental science, and business. To make things even easier, each lesson plan comes with an educator’s guide, providing background and guidance on effective teaching strategies.

After school

Hey parents, ready to meet those after-school hankerings head-on? Whether you’re just kicking the soccer ball around after school or sending them to afternoon practice, a grab-and-go snack like LÄRABAR Bites make perfect practice fuel, especially when paired with a bottle of Honest Tea Lemon sport drink.

Coming straight home? A quick after-school cooking lesson is the perfect way to unwind and spend some quality time with your kiddo. Might we suggest this recipe for avocado quinoa brownies? Double check our math, but we’re pretty sure over half of those ingredients can be Fair Trade Certified, and luckily they’re are almost as easy to make as they are to scarf down!

Need more ideas? Head on over to our product finder to find your own ways to go back to school with Fair Trade.