The signs of summer are slowly fading and for some, that can mean only one thing—it’s time to buckle down for a new college semester. 

Regardless of where you’re at in your college career, it’s important to have the right tools to get through a semester—the classes, the potential lack of advanced cooking appliances, the weather that you can’t escape while walking to class and of course, the inevitable late nights of studying (and/or partying, if that’s your jam). Here are some of our back to school essentials to help you rock your next semester, and save the Earth at the same time.

  • Decomposition notebooks. Spend a little extra money to have seriously good looking notebooks made from all recycled materials and printed with soy ink. The selection of cute and creative designs is so abundant that you will have trouble choosing just one to buy!
  • Reusable water bottle. Save hundreds of dollars every year and help the planet by avoiding one-time use plastic bottles and instead snagging yourself a handy reusable water bottle. The Nalgene wide-mouth bottle is a solid, affordable option. Plus it is BPA-free and it can fit in your bag or backpack. Find it on Amazon or at most sporting goods and recreation equipment stores.
  • Reusable sandwich/snack bags. Save money on purchasing snacks and bring your own to eat in between classes. Instead of relying on one-time use plastic sandwich/snack baggies, pack a bagel or your favorite vegan treats in reusable bags. We suggest the Sandwich bag or Snack bag from Stasher or the recyclable XL sandwich bag from Lunchskins.
  • Vegan-friendly Ramen. This is a must-have for anyone in college or on a budget. Try Dr. McDougall’s Certified Vegan Ramen with chicken flavor. It’s affordable, easy to make, and can be made in a microwave, which may become your new best friend! 
  • Steaz Energy Drinks. Sometimes you just need an extra energy boost. Steaz’s plant-based, organic energy drinks can help you stay up for late night study sessions or to stay awake in class after said study sessions. Find them at most locations of CVS, Kroger, and other stores.
  • Cliff Bar. Snack on one of these for an extra boost in between classes. Make sure to check the ingredients on the back to find the vegan ones. We love the Crunchy Peanut Butter flavor!
  • Amy’s meals. Let’s be real. The cooking situation in college isn’t always ideal for whipping up extravagant meals, so Amy’s microwaveable vegan dishes are a quick and easy meal option. Crack open a can of lentil soup or heat up a vegetable pot pie or dairy-free mac ‘n cheese for a meal made in no time. 
  • All vegan sweet treat. Ocho Candy bars are great go-to’s for those rough days, you know, when you really need to treat yourself. The dark chocolate peanut butter and coconut flavors are both vegan. For a tasty, cruelty-free version of an almond joy, we suggest the Coconut bar! Find out which stores stock these bundles of joy.