Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The company Seventh Generation has based its business on the following ideal:

Seven generations sustainability is an ecological concept that implores the current generation of humans to be working for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future. 
"In every deliberation we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."
- Great Law of the Iroquois

Below is an article from Seventh Generation addressing back to school supplies:

Seventh Generation
The weather forecast may still say "summer," but in millions of homes around the country, the calendar has a different message: another school year is almost here, and with it the season for new clothes, fresh supplies, and all the other gear that kids will need to continue their adventures in learning.
Though it's a time-honored ritual in many families, back-to-school shopping is a tradition ripe for reconsideration. The purchasing choices we make for the new school year will have a lot to do with how safe our children stay and how healthy our world remains. Here's our lesson plan for making sure that your back-to-school experience is as sustainable as it is educational:

• Lowering your back-to-school consumption will pay off both economically and ecologically. Consider just how much new stuff you really need to buy. Chances are it's less than you think! Look around your home to see what can be reused, repurposed, and recycled from older siblings.
• Consider buying quality used clothing instead of brand new items.
• For finding recycling and reuse ideas, New American Dream offers a useful
Back to School Reality Check and a separate Quiz that can help you reassess your needs.
• New or used, beware of products made from soft vinyl plastics (a.k.a. PVC), including notebooks, pencil cases, backpacks, and lunchboxes. Vinyl manufacturing is one of the world's most toxic enterprises and PVC can contain lead and/or phthalates that leach out to harm our kids' health. Choose natural materials instead. You can also consult The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice's new Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies.
• Test for lead in lunchboxes. Homax Lead Check, Lead Check Household Lead Test Kit, and Lead Inspector are reliable options for finding out whether lunchboxes and other items contain lead.
• Another contaminant to watch out for is bisphenol-A, or BPA, which is used to manufacture popular #7 polycarbonate plastic water bottles. BPA can leach out of materials that contain it and is a potent endocrine disruptor. Bottle your child's daily beverage supply in stainless steel water bottles to keep the BPA away.
• When shopping for school supplies, avoid disposable products and look for sustainable options like refillable pens, rechargeable batteries, dispenser-less tape refills, and similar items.
• Choose products that use the least amount of packaging.
• Buy in bulk whenever you can. The price per piece is almost always lower, and you'll save on packaging and prevent multiple trips back to the store.

By taking these ideas to school, you'll be teaching your kids to be smart caretakers of their health and good stewards of the world they'll inherit. And that's a lesson that we think everyone should learn!
For more information visit Seventh Generation's website:

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