Top 10 Sustainable Back to School Accessories

Friday, August 14th, 2020

Summer always goes by faster than anticipated and before you know it, we’re shopping for school supplies. This school year will be like no other. There are new rules and new needs to be safe and productive. So as you’re creating your back-to-school essentials checklist, we have a few to add to the usual pencil, highlighter, glue stick, and pen go-to’s that will keep you prepared all semester long.

Whether you’re a student, parent, teacher or administrator, everyone is looking for ways to get through the school year (and school shopping!) successfully. High on the list is what’s needed when it comes to school lunches, after-school snacks and staying hydrated throughout the day — especially if you don’t have easy access to water fountains. From water bottles to snack containers and reusable straws to commuter mugs, we have you covered. 

#1: Water Bottles for All-Day Hydration

From the minute the morning alarm clock goes off until the time the last bell rings, the school year pace is frenetic to say the least. Staying hydrated can be a challenge, especially when you don’t have fresh water available everywhere you go. Fortunately, many schools are swapping out older water fountain systems for purified water stations to help keep students hydrated. Adding a reusable water bottle to your back-to-school accessories list is essential to achieve the recommended daily water intake on a regular basis. Long gone is the sole reliance of single-use plastic water bottles. 

The beauty of having a S’well water bottle, specifically, is you can choose from a lineup of beautiful colors and designs, customizing the look to fit your own style. The slim bottle structure can be stowed easily in a backpack or shoulder bag filled with the first-day school supplies list without having to worry about spills. There’s also the option of having your water bottle of choice personalized with your name or initials. This helps to further differentiate yours from others and lets people know who to return it to should it become misplaced when you’re on campus or in your dorm room. 

With your own personalized water bottle, it keeps your water cold throughout the school day with no plastic waste left behind. It contributes to daily hydration, great reusable water bottle benefits, as well as the cleanliness of your school grounds, a win-win all around.

#2: Snack Bowls Stave Off Hunger and Promote Freshness

How soon into the school day do you require your first snack? Keep your stomach from grumbling with a healthy grab-and-go snack that won’t be crushed, wilted, or left forgotten in the bottom of a backpack. The designers of S’nack by S’well had these common scenarios in mind when creating the stylish, sustainable lineup of totable kids snack containers, perfect for your mid-morning or afternoon snack while doing homework. 

The double-walled vacuum insulation keeps snacks colder or hotter for longer. Veggies stay crisp, fruit stays fresh, and yogurt stays nice and chilled for a tasty snack between classes. Additionally, the leak-free, easy-to-open lid minimizes messes, which comes in handy when heading from school to sports practices, play dates, or when you need something to hold you over for the commute home. 

These back-to-school accessories make pre-packing snacks a cinch so you’re not starving until lunchtime or relying on vending machine options to curb your appetite. 

#3: Traveler Tumblers Keep Beverages Cold for the Commute

As with the reusable water bottle, the advantage of an insulated tumbler works well when you have limited time between classes to get a drink. It’s a favorite to carry in the car since it has a slide-open lid to help prevent spills. Fill one up with water, your morning protein drink, or any other beverage or liquid meal to get you through the commute (whether that’s to your home desk or your chair in the classroom) and first part of your day.

Since the vacuum insulation leaves no condensation behind, you won’t have to worry about a slippery exterior as you grab it from the cup holder in your car or when you’re hurrying from class to class. Also, the wider design of the Traveler allows you to fill up your container with ice, if needed, to keep your drink chilled even longer and is quick to rinse out and clean between uses.

#4: Food Storage Simplifies Meal Planning

With a new school year comes a chance to replace your old food containers. If you normally rely on reusable plastic food storage, it’s likely they’ve become warped and stained with use. Treat yourself to an upgrade from the S’well Eats™ product lineup. The fun and festive food bowls are made up of 18/8 stainless steel for lasting durability and simple cleanup. 

The sleek design keeps food cold or hot for hours on end. This is particularly helpful when there’s no access to a refrigerator to store your food until lunchtime. Your meals will maintain their intended quality even as they stay stowed away in your bag or on top of your desk. With two different sizes available, you can keep cold foods separate from the lunch items you want to stay hot, leaving your meal options limitless. Planning your meals for the entire week as a parent, professional or college student is extra convenient with the help of these food bowls for storage.

#5: Sports Cap Works Interchangeably for All Activities

Swap out your regular water bottle lid with a drink-through sports cap. The convenient design allows for splash-free sipping for your workouts, sports practices or during a big game. Sometimes you may only have a few seconds for a water break and the sports cap alternative makes it easy to hydrate without needing to slow down too much.

For younger students, the sports cap is often easier to handle than a lid that needs to be screwed on tightly for transport. With a pop top, kids can press it open with ease and without worrying about spills or leaks. Another kid-friendly alternative lid is the S’ip by S’well 10oz with a silicone strap to keep the cap attached. The handle on this lid allows small hands to carry with ease or hook to a backpack for greater portability.  

#6: Shareable Roamers for Group Outings

The 40-oz. Roamers keep drinks cold for 48 hours and hot for 16. This convenience makes these containers ideal for after school activities when dispersing drinks among a group of students. There’s no need for bags of melting ice or cumbersome ice chests to keep drinks at their optimal temp. These sleek and stylish bottles work great for any occasion. 

The larger size is also valuable for families to take to track meets, football games, and other events that last for several hours. It ensures everyone stays hydrated at all times without repeated trips to the concession stand. The additional ounces available through the Roamer provides multiple options for occasions where access to freshwater or other drinks may not be as readily available.  

#7: Reusable Straws Reduce Plastic Waste

When it comes to back-to-school accessories, reusable straws top the list. Many states and schools have already banned the use of plastic straws in an effort to reduce plastic waste because of the harmful effects of plastic water bottles. Instead, there’s the efficient option of using a 18/8 stainless steel reusable straw that fits into water bottles, tumblers or a range of other hydration vessels. 

These come in handy as an alternative to plastic straws on campus and can help prevent spills in a car when drinking on a commute. Switching from the plastic option is a quick way to become more eco-friendly and practice sustainability on a daily basis.

#8: Commuter Containers Are Perfect for On-the-Go

As with using water bottles and tumblers for hydration at home or on the go, the Commuter is ergonomically designed to fit into your hand for ease of use. The triple-layered, vacuum-insulated construction keeps cold beverages cold for an impressive 24 hours and hot beverages hot for 6. For anyone who’s ever resorted to reheating their coffee during the day, the perk of this is invaluable. 

Becoming more sustainable with this option will save on coffee runs and plastic waste without interrupting your daily caffeine intake or hydration levels. A small change at the beginning of the school year leads to a significant, cost-saving difference come year’s end and beneficial habits for the future.

#9: Cleaning Brush and Tablets

It’s only rational that with increased use, comes an increased need for cleaning. A lot of people wonder how to clean a reusable water bottle. Enter the cleaning brush. It easily maneuvers to fit inside all S’well bottle sizes so you can give them a scrub on a regular basis. If you’re using your containers primarily for water, rinsing them out after every use is still important. 

As an alternative to brushes is the Cleaning Tablet that allows you to clean a bottle without scrubbing. Simply fill it with water, drop in your S’well Cleaning Tablet and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and you’re ready to drink.

Both options prevent the buildup of grime and germs on the rim and inside with consistent rinsing and a few deeper clean washings throughout the week. 

#10: Sustainable Starter Kit

If you’re not sure exactly which back-to-school accessories to add to your list, a good place to get started is with a starter kit. The family edition comes with a: 

  • 15oz S’ip by S’well Marshmallow
  • 16oz S’ip by S’well Clean Slate
  • 24oz S’nack by S’well Black Licorice
  • 2 – 10oz S’nack by S’well Cookies
  • Stainless Steel Straw Set (includes 4 straws + cleaning brush)
  • Stainless Steel Cutlery Set (includes a fork, spoon and knife and wipeable carrying cases)


In short, it’s the perfect way to get all your back-to-school essentials in one bundle. All of these sustainable, durable products will last you through all of the classes, school activities, and other extracurriculars that make up a fun and exciting school year. 

Heading Back to School with S’well 

Like buying a yearly school planner or shopping for clothes to wear on the first day, adding portable food and drink containers to your back-to-school list is just as important. And no matter whether you’re going back to school virtually or in a mixed learning environment, this list of top 10 items can prepare you to stay productive, healthy and hydrated. 

Say good-bye to lukewarm lunches and room temperature water. Now is the time for a sustainable solution to carry you through the school year with convenience and style and S’well makes that happen.