The Scary Truth About School Supplies That Every Teacher Understands

As the beginning of a new school year approaches, teachers and students alike fill their shopping carts with colorful notebooks, pens, pencils, and binders. However, there is a darker side to school supplies that not many people are aware of. The scary truth about school supplies lies in their impact on the environment, the toxic chemicals they contain, and the reality of commercialization taking over our educational system.

Environmental Impact:

One of the most significant concerns regarding school supplies is the damage they cause to the environment. Pencils, paper, binders, and other items all have a detrimental impact on our planet. Take, for example, plastic binders. These seemingly innocuous items are made from non-biodegradable material that can take up to 1,000 years to decompose when discarded irresponsibly. Meanwhile, paper production demands large amounts of water and energy resources while contributing to deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Toxic Chemicals:

Many researchers have found toxic chemicals lurking in our school supplies that can harm both students and educators. For example, some dry-erase markers contain xylene or methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), which can cause headaches and respiratory issues when constantly exposed to.

Additionally, adhesives used in common supplies like glue sticks and sticky notes often contain harmful solvents like toluene. Moreover, PVC-based backpacks and lunch bags may release vinyl chloride gas – a possible carcinogen – when exposed to high temperatures or prolonged usage.

Commercialization in Education:

School supplies have become big business: many popular stores boast extensive back-to-school marketing campaigns each year targeting parents and teachers alike. As a result, commercial brands have started influencing our educators’ choices on what products to use in their classrooms.

Endorsements by characters from children’s television shows or films push teachers towards specific branded materials rather than focusing on the quality and safety of the products. This commercialization can result in classrooms being filled with potentially toxic items, providing a source of subtle peer pressure prompting students to buy these products too.


It is vital for both educators and parents to be aware of the hidden dangers lurking within school supplies. By buying eco-friendly, non-toxic supplies and supporting responsible manufacturers, we can create safer learning environments for our children while minimizing our ecological footprint. It’s essential to educate ourselves and make informed decisions when purchasing supplies, ensuring that education remains focused on learning rather than the influence of commercial interests.

Choose your Reaction!