If your kids aren’t back to school yet, they will be after this weekend. My kids started last Monday. It was a joyful for day for all! I love spending day after day of unstructured time with my children in the summer, as well as the planned adventures summer allows; however, there is something comforting in routine.
With the start of school comes back to school shopping. I remember as a child going for big clothing shopping sprees. We don’t do that in our family. Instead, we buy clothes as needed or wanted in small amounts. I feel this is a more eco-friendly approach to the excess most of us have in our closets.
As my children got their classroom lists of supplies, we headed to Target. Target is one of the few large retailers we shop at because they do carry many natural, organic, and sustainable brands. Every vist, I see a green company that I trust and support now on Target’s shelves.
Back to School Shopping that is Made to Matter
As part of our participation in Tom’s of Maine’s Goodness Circle, we were sent a Made to Matter gift bag from Target. “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target” is a collection of products by leading sustainable companies, like Tom’s of Maine for your back to school shopping. These products fit the following criteria:
- reduced sugar: a new approach to healthier eating through reduced sugar options.
- closing the loop: processing systems that reduce or even eliminate the amount of wasted material left behind.
- less packaging +reduced waste: alternative, eco-friendly methods of packaging that use less material & create minimal waste.
- clean label: producing high-quality, natural products without additives & artificial chemicals.
- dietary restrictions: from peanut allergies to gluten intolerance, creating simple, natural options for people with dietary restrictions.
The Made to Matter back to school bag is amazing! I am familiar with most of the brands, but there were a few new ones too. Here’s a list of my five favorite products:
- Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish and Silken Conditioner: This conditioner is very hydrating without leaving your hair feeling oily. It contains no sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, propylene glycol, phthalates, or animal testing.
- Tom’s of Maine Luminous White toothpaste: This toothpaste is clinically proven to naturally whiten your teeth. I drink coffee and wine, and as I age I notice my teeth need whitening. This toothpaste can be used daily. I have tried other whitening products, but my sensitive teeth won’t tolerate them. That’s why I love Tom’s!
- Justin’s Snack Pack with Honey Peanut Butter and Banana Chips: I love Justin’s! I take the packets of almond butter backpacking and keep them in the car for emergency snacks. I have seen the snack packs before, but they usually contain pretzels. The banana chip variety is awesome for those of us limiting refined carbs.
- Pacifica Dream Big Lash Extending 7 in 1 Mascara: I rarely put on make up, but my teenage daughter does. Pacifica is a company we have long trusted. I do wear their scents almost daily. Not only is this mascara made from natural ingredients, it also boosts the appearance of your lashes by adding length and volume. In addition, it provides conditioning.
- Seventh Generation free & clear Laundry Detergent Packets: I’ve always trusted Seventh Generation. I love the convenience of these drops (no more spilled liquid detergent). They are made for sensitive skin and are free of fragrance. I really detest the smell of laundry detergent. My son’s sensitive skin does not react to this product. It’s perfect!
Although I strongly support shopping local stores, sometimes it is hard to get all the school supplies you need in one stop at one. By choosing which large retailers you support and buying the sustainable, eco-friendly products they sell, you can use your power as a consumer to make change. I think this is evident in Target’s sustainability goals.
When I read a company’s sustainability goals, I often think that as families we should write our own goals for eco-friendly living. At the end of the year, we could reflect on what we exceeded, met, or failed to reach. If we expect companies to have accountability, then we should as well personally for our own integrity.
Target has 10 sustainability goals in its corporate responsibility report.
At the end of fiscal 2015, 1,409 of our U.S. buildings earned ENERGY STAR® certification—76 percent of our U.S. buildings in all. But we’re not done yet. We’re shooting to make 80 percent of our locations ENERGY STAR® certified by 2020.
reduce waste: not achieved
This goal is driven largely by the launch and execution of compost and organics recycling, which make up 30 percent of Target’s total tons to landfill. Due to delays in infrastructure development to support a nationwide roll out, we did not meet our goal.
In 2015 we ended our goal period with a reduction in emissions of 16.7 percent per retail dollar sales.
reduce greenhouse gas emissions per square foot: exceeded
We used 3.03 billion gallons of water in 2015, a decrease of 17.1 percent per square foot from our 2009 baseline.
Target gives about equally to each political party.((https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pac2pac.php?cycle=2016&cmte=C00098061)
The Made to Matter program makes back to school shopping eco-friendly. From natural beauty to healthy snacking, these products are made from “simple, recognizable ingredients”. I love seeing large retailers make living a greener, healthier life easier for everyone, not just coop and health food store shoppers.
Disclosure: As a participant of the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Circle, I’ve received compensation for my time and product samples for review purposes. Opinions are my own.
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