As the days grow shorter and summertime slips into September, our thoughts naturally turn towards the start of school and preparations for an eco-friendly education. Balancing books and supplies with a tight budget can be tricky, but happily there’s a wealth of affordable and environmentally sound school supplies out there. Read on for a round-up of five favorites from the current crop of green student staples!

Goodkind Pens Goodkind crafts these warm wood numbers from FSC-certified scraps of birch and beech. Almost every element of each pen is recycled, from their steel pocket clips and trim to their brass cartridges, filled with non-toxic ink. Plus they ship with recyclable packaging.

+ $3.39 at

Subu Notebooks Brighten up those bland old notebooks with a fresh set of beautiful hand-bound journals by Subu. Each one-of-a-kind cahier is composed from recycled cardstock and scrap paper and tastefully finished with a button-bound length of twine.

+ $6 at Subu’s Etsy Shop

Terracycle Eco Binders Eco-friendly entrepreneurs Terracycle recently teamed up with OfficeMax to provide a line of green school supplies manufactured entirely from recycled materials. These sturdy Eco Binders are composed from 100% recycled cardboard and 90% recycled steel rings, and once they reach the end of their lifecycle you can simply ship them back to Terracycle to be repurposed.

+ $3.99 – $4.00, available soon at OfficeMax

Solar Style Charger Students on the go will surely appreciate a solar solution as eminently pocketable as this charger by Solar Style. It offers an easy and affordable way to charge cell phones, PDAs, mp3 players and other gadgets.

+ $29.99 at SolarStyle

Lite2Go Lamps Students seeking to add eco-chic lighting to their dorm room decor needn’t look any further than these innovative Lite2Go lamps by Knoend. Their smart design turns the product paradigm on its head, since each lamp’s packaging unfolds to become its shade. They work wonderfully as a desk or pendant lamp and are now available in a variety of funky colors.

+ $52 at Knoend