Yesterday, my son and I did some back-to-school shopping. Continuing in the tradition of his previous Montessori school, we stayed away from the Star Wars backpacks, Power Ranger lunch boxes, and logo-ed tee shirts. We allow him to play with these things at home, but have always kept the "commerciality" out of his learning experience at school. He willingly agreed to the more plain backpack - and actually really likes it because it looks like an "explorers" backpack.
The lunch box and water bottle (made by Crocodile Creek) are both environmentally friendly and still look cool. The bamboo utensils we bought for his lunch box are made by To-Go Ware, and come in a handy pouch. When shopping for some of the school supplies for the classroom, we purchased Seventh Generation brand paper towels and tissues. Also, paper was listed on his supply list, so we were sure to buy paper that had come from renewable wood from certified and responsibly managed forests.
These days I don't even think twice about shopping in the most responsible way that I can. Having a child has taught me this. And raising him through a Montessori education has supported this lifestyle. I know when my son goes to school, other kids will also bring their lunch boxes, sans plastic baggies. Many of them will have stainless steel water bottles. And there won't be the lure of the Transformer tee-shirts or Sponge Bob sweatshirts to distract him from his learning experience at school.