hot stuff

Back-to-School Cool

Check out these smart, stylish and oh-so-cool products for the back-to-school crew

Light up homework

Get efficient lighting for any space, and a sleek, modern look with the Studio 3B Lighting 8-Watt LED Desk Lamp. The four-level dimming touch switch with LED panel brightens your work space, and the self-charging USB port can power most electronic devices. Available locally at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Refreshingly fun

Keep your kid’s water cold for up to 12 hours with the Thermos FUNtainer bottle. The stainless steel design makes it durable and the push button lid makes it hygienic. Comes with a carry handle and holds up to 16 ounces. Comes in many designs or choose a solid color. For local retailers, visit

Cute carriers

Named Lunch Bag of the Year by Superhealthy Kids, Funkins Lunch Bags are easy to clean and thoughtfully designed with soft handles, durable zippers, reinforced seams, interior labels and a convenient interior pocket. Each washable insulated neoprene bag is free of harmful chemicals including lead, phthalate, PVC and BPA. Easy for kids to unpack and repack for school, the bags keep food fresh and ready to go for busy days.

Paper over plastic

Hate tossing all the plastic single-use sandwich bags each day? Try using If You Care Paper Sandwich and Snack Bags made from non-chemically treated recycled materials. Each bag’s natural barrier property prevents grease or fat from penetrating, making them ideal for sandwiches that use mayo or oil. Certified compostable. Available locally at Target or visit for a retailer near you.

A lighter load

Carry your load inside and out with the slim Dakine Wonder Backpack. This low-volume pack is great for everyday use. Available locally at REI, Zumiez and Beaver Sports, and Play It Again Sports or visit

Snack packs

Kids need to snack, but sometimes sliced apples and carrots won’t cut it. Stock up with these healthy packaged products – perfect for snacktime or for tucking in lunchboxes.

  1. For long-lasting energy, these Hormel Natural Choice’s snack packs have up to 10 grams of protein per serving. Available in four flavor-packed combos.
  2. The individual packaging of Wholly Guacamole Minis keeps the guac fresh and makes it easy to take on the go. A great source of healthy fat, pair it with a side of whole-grain chips.
  3. Making an exotic fruit smoothie is time consuming so grab a Pressed by Kind Bar for all that fruity goodness pressed into a delicious bar.
  4. Compared to a similar sized bag of potato chips, Angie's BoomChickaPop Sea Salt Popcorn is about half the calories and half the fat.
  5. Luna Bars come in fun flavors like chocolate-dipped coconut and lemon zest and are a great source of protein, with 8 grams per bar.
  6. For a healthy take on cheese puffs, try Annie’s Cheddar Cheesy Puffs, made with whole grains and baked rather than fried.
Get labeled

Start off the year right by personalizing your kids’ backpacks and everything else with these cool Name Bubbles labels. Whether it be preschool, elementary, middle school, high school or college, these personalized school name labels will keep their back-to-school gear coming home. Waterproof. Visit

Three-in-one bento box

Want to keep your child’s food fresh without using plastic? ECOlunchbox’s stainless-steel containers are plastic-free and come in a variety of sizes and include leak-proof silicone lids to keep foods fresh. The Tri Bento, shown here, is made up of three separate layers that neatly clip together. Dishwasher safe for easy clean up. Available in Alaska at Sustainable Wares and Fiddleheads and Ferns or visit

Cool case

The Dakine School Case rounds up all your loose writing and learning utensils into one handy zippered compartment. It's also great for managing cables, chargers – basically any of the loose stuff that you spend way too much time searching for in your bag. The case is also just the right size for storing small grooming tools, like tweezers, scissors, nail clippers. Available locally at REI, Zumiez and Beaver Sports, and Play It Again Sports or visit

All-in-one organization

Students are carrying more with them throughout the school day and need products durable enough to store multiple materials. Five Star’s 3-inch binder with removal padded case comes with a range of storage and carrying options, include a five-tab expanding file for quick and easy access to papers. Students can organize their schoolwork and have all the materials they need together to get them through the school day. For local retailers, visit

Fashionably filed

Organize your homework station or office space with fashionable flair when you use these bright and cheery Haute Girls file folders. The set comes with two folders of each of the three designs, which feature different front and back complementary patterns including pink floral, horizontal stripes and a vibrant geometric print. Available at Hallmark stores.

Clothes minded

Tea Collection’s fun and functional clothing sets are perfect for school days – they look as awesome as they feel. For the boys, find cool graphic tees to top over extra-comfy, sporty pants. For the girls, layer a bright and cheery dress over soft leggings. Get ’em locally at Tiny Ptarmigan,

Pack it all

The Five Star Expandable Backpack has multiple expanding sections that open like luggage to give you up to seven inches of extra storage space. Carry and manage all your textbooks, notebooks and other school supplies. Plus, you can pull items out easily while it is hanging up. Available locally at Office Depot or visit

Safari lunch pack

Food and drinks stay cool with the phthalate- and BPA-free Insulated Lunch Backpack from Marcus and Marcus. It features a zipped mesh interior pocket for ice packs and a comfortable rubber zipper grip for small hands. Available in Marcus the Lion, Ollie the Elephant, or Lola the Giraffe. Visit

Pack a snack

Perfect for adding to lunch boxes or as an after-school snack, Sabra Hummus To Go with Pretzels pack a quick burst of fresh flavor for an on-the-go taste adventure. The single-serve, portable cups are available in three flavors – Classic, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic – and offer the authentic hummus flavor your family will love paired with pretzels for quick, easy dipping. Available at local grocery stores, or visit

Banish lunch waste

Ziploc bags, wrappers, and other types of disposable containers are costly and wasteful, especially when parents are packing school lunches for their children every day. Russbe Reusable Snack/Sandwich Bags and Bento Boxes are 100 percent reusable, available in a variety of colors and patterns, and made to withstand day-to-day use. Dishwasher safe, environmentally friendly, and free of harmful BPA, PVC, latex and phthalate. Visit

Cuddly case

When was the last time you hugged a pencil case? The zip-up Yoobi Fuzzy Pencil Case is awesomely soft, and full of friendly fuzzy dreadlocks. Organize pencils, markers, erasers, crayons, paperclips, secret decoder rings – you name it. (Go ahead, Mom, pack ’em with lipstick, mascara, etc. – makes a great cosmetics bag too!) Yummy-soft, and available in many colors. Plus, when you buy, Yoobi gives: For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Available locally at Target or visit

What’s lurking in your kid’s lunchbox?

The General Purpose Cloth from e-cloths is made out of millions of tiny fibers and is clinically proven to remove over 99 percent of bacteria, as well as, heavy dirt, grease and anything else that you might find under the lid of your kid’s lunchbox, using just water! Plus, they are guaranteed to last for 300 machine washes, saving you time, energy and money. Healthy cleaning is an added bonus! With e-cloth parents can have peace of mind that they are not contaminating their kids’ food with harsh chemicals. Available at

Rockin’ for school

Hot Dots Jr. Pete the Cat Kindergarten Rocks! is going to get kids rockin’ and schoolin’. Inspired by the beloved Pete the Cat children’s book series, this set provides 200+ lessons on a variety of subjects such as reading, math, science, social studies and more. It includes two spiral-bound activity card sets, an all-new Pete the Cat–Your Groovin’ Schoolin’ Friend pen, reward stickers, and an award certificate for little learners who are ready to advance to the next level. For ages 5 years +. Available locally at Over the Rainbow Toys or visit

Fresh gear

Go chemical-free and keep all that school and sports gear smelling fresh with remodeez. These smart, safe, non-toxic, effective and odorless products come in four handy sizes (home, footware, travel and auto). The product uses activated charcoal derived from coconut husks to absorb odor at the source. Hypoallergenic and chemical-free, remodeez last for up to one year and may be placed in the sun as needed to recharge. Place the sleek, colorful products in your kids’ backpacks, athletic shoes, gym bags and luggage. Available at Target or visit

Storage solution

Low on closet storage space in your child’s room or dorm? Consider the Closet Maximizer. Featuring four shelves and an adjustable, double-hang rod, the system takes 30 minutes to install and requires no tools. Create additional storage outside of the closet with Decorative Storage units, which come with full-backers and robust outer frames. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, they can be customized with fabric bins. For a retailer near you, visit