Gallery: BACK TO SCHOOL: TOP 5 Eco Book Bags


As the summer comes to an end, it’s time for some of us to start gearing up for the school year, ideally in sustainable style. If you’re looking for the greenest way to carry all your textbooks, laptop, and other gadgets to and from class, here are our top five recommendations for eco-chic book bags…

(No, the Anya Hindmarch “Not-a-plastic-bag” bag doesn’t count — as it is neither eco nor a book bag!)

The go-to bags for the high-tech eco-friendly student, Voltaic bags can power your cell phone, PDA’s, and other gadgets while holding your textbooks. Bring out your inner eco geek and load up your Voltaic bag with all the gadgets and books it can hold!
$199 – $250 from Voltaic

Another solar-powered sack, this tote doubles as a beach bag for those days you just can’t resist playing hookie. Similar to Voltaic, the totes power small gadgets- plus they’re made from biodegradable canvas!
$199 from Reware

Buenos Aires-based Baumm uses recycled advertising banners from around the city and transforms them into hip and one-of-a-kind graphic bags. They’re sturdy, colorful, and big enough to carry all your back-to-school supplies!
$30 and up from Baumm

Feuerwear takes fire hoses to a new and very functional personal level, transforming the strong textile into usable bags that are not only strong as heck, but hip and durable. Also check out their line of wallets and other accessories.
€ 79 from Feuerwear

Nautical style is all the rage in the fashion world, making these Red Flag recycled sail bags the perfect compliment to your navy and white back-to-school outfit. Available exclusively at Branch Home.
$198 from Branch


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Inhabitat » SUSTA... November 25, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    […] you could pony up for a geeky/techy solar powered backpack, but does solar power get more stylish than these solar bags from Noon Solar?! The Chicago […]

  2. MaLóL September 25, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Yeah!!!, where are those pretencious Freitag bags, started in 93? every pretencious architecture student wears one.

    When will we have a pretencious moleskine made with recycled marihuana paper?

    green, green, green, green. This minimalist avant garde clothing is ridiculous most times…

  3. Sustainable Fashion Des... August 29, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    […] (Via) […]

  4. Moom August 29, 2007 at 11:31 am

    This is wrong on so many levels. At the most superficial, the research seems pretty shoddy: For my money, Juice do better (and more ecofriendly) solar powered messenger bags and backpacks than the Voltaic ones. And where is Freitag in your list, hey? Definitely scoring over those dreadful ex-sail bags, is where it should be.

    At a deeper level, how long do you have to own a solar-powered bag for until it repays the amount of energy that was used up in its production? Given the pathetic output of most solar panels, the answer will be measured in decades. And a beach tote?! Come on! What beach gadgets do you own that need recharging over the course of the average beach trip? It’s worse than greenwash, it’s green conspicuous consumption. It’s loopy.

    Finally, as so many have pointed out, if you need a bag there are so many cheap, practical and stylish versions which use far fewer resources and sit more lightly on the planet. Solar panels are hopelessly inefficient, and these ones will never pay for themselves in eco terms.

    I sympathise with this website’s philosophy that we can still be consumers and be green, but some consumption is overconsumption, and boy, this is it.

  5. aaron August 28, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you, Anne, for pointing out that most sustainable consumer products are the ones you DON’T buy. The bike I own may be a tanker, the car I own may be falling apart, and the clothes I own may be rags… but all of these things are more environmentally friendly than buying new things (an amazing amount of energy goes into manufacturing new products).

  6. Anne August 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I think the eco-friendliest bookbag is … the one you already have. I’d like to see an idea of “enough” incorporated into product reviews like these, which are otherwise conforming to the consumer culture involved in many of our environmental problems.

  7. mike August 27, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    There are some others on I have a few from there that i use. You can see the review on my site, also

  8. e August 27, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    This website sometimes seems elitist. “No, the Not-a-Plastic-Bag” doesn’t count” comment, even though your tote bag does count, seems unfair. I’m not a fan of the bag and the people who buy it are more interested in blindly following trends than eco-friendly products. Nevertheless, the bag does get the word out there about reducing platic bag consumption, which is laudable and should be celebrated as a victory for all of us. While not strictly ‘eco-friendly,’ it does spread awareness and eco-consciousness. One could argue inhabitat is not strictly eco-friendly as it consumes power. Yet we all know that’s ridiculous because inhabitat keeps us aware of all of these new developments.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home