Trying To Be Greener

Safer eco-living, one day at a time

Going PVC-free for back-to-school August 4, 2010

Filed under: children,PVC — Kirstin @ 1:47 pm
Tags: ,

For 14 years, I was a 5th grade teacher. Every August, a few times a week, I’d go to my classroom and do my best to make it into a creative space for my new students. I was “getting greener” every year but just didn’t think of it that way – it was more like “recycling old things into new things” on the cheap! I wish I knew more about the dangers of PVC plastic back then and how I could have helped to eliminated it from my classroom.

The Center for Health, Environment and & Justice states:

“PVC is unique among plastics because it contains dangerous chemical additives. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. What’s worse is the danger these chemicals posephthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time posing unnecessary dangers to children. Over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften or plasticize PVC products. Children are at risk from even small exposures to these toxic chemicals. That’s why it’s important to purchase PVC-free school supplies.”

  • PVC products are often labeled with the word “vinyl” on the packaging
  • To identify PVC packaging, see if it has the number “3” inside it, or the letters “V” or “PVC” underneath it. This means the product is made out of PVC.

The Center for Health, Environments & Justice’s (CHEJ) just put out its 2010 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies list. There you can find everything PVC-free from binders, notebooks, pencils cases, and much, much more.

But here’s a few PVC-free school items I’ve always liked:

I am not employed by any of the companies mentioned, nor was I paid to review these products.

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One Response to “Going PVC-free for back-to-school”

  1. Suzanne Holt Says:

    I wish all teachers had or displayed some conscious awareness such as you do. BUT….like you I guess they just don’t see things that way. After reading one of your articles on ecowomen, I have a completely different perception about an environmentally saf(ER) classroom!


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