Gallery: Top 5 Eco-Friendly Back to School Bags

Secco Seatbelt Bag

As summer ends and classes begin, students around the world are starting to gear up for the long haul ahead. A sturdy backpack or satchel is an essential, and although the most eco-friendly option is to simply reuse a existing bag, some of you are sure to be retiring your frayed and fading packs. Fortunately Inhabitat has you covered with some fresh eco fashions that will have you toting your school supplies in style. Read on for five of our favorites.

Veteran messenger bag manufacturer Timbuk2 recently teamed up with UK-based Howies to release this cute eco-friendly messenger bag. Constructed out of organic canvas and printed with water based dyes, it’s a summery satchel built tough to weather the test of time.

$135 at Timbuk2

Noon Solar‘s elegant photovoltaic handbags outshine the unfortunate geek factor of other solar accessories. The Cortland bag (shown above) is constructed from vegetable dyed leather, is chrome free, and has an organic hemp/cotton lining. And of course it can charge your cellphone, blackberry and all your other crucial handheld gadgets.

From $330 in the Inhabitatshop or win one here!

The must-have for the ecogeeky student, Voltaic backpacks can charge your cell phone, PDA’s, and other gadgets while also lugging around your textbooks. And if the solar power gadget charging isn’t enough greenness for you, Voltaic bags are also made from 100% recycled PET from water bottles.
$199 – $250 from Voltaic

Students searching for an eco-friendly way to tote their laptops and books should look into Targus‘ recently released line of EcoSmart bags. Constructed from 100% recycled polyester, recyclable plastic, and nickel-free metal finishings, they are a stylish, sustainable, and PVC-free.

$59.99 and up at

Osprey‘s steadfast commitment to eco-friendly materials earn them top marks in the sustainability department. Their Cypher pack is constructed almost entirely from recycled materials including PET, reground buckles, and recycled webbing.

$84 at


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  1. Rosiee September 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

    These Bags Are Quite cool, But Too Expensive…

  2. wadcity September 10, 2008 at 8:51 am

    i’m sorry, but this post is an absolute embarrassment considering how many cool bags are out there made of recycled materials. there are freitag’s bags made from old truck tarps. seabags from maine who make totes out of old sailboat sails. there’s the sakku solar bag which ALSO uses sailboat sails. there are bags made from recycled inner tubes such as those by alchemy. what about vy & elle bags made from recycled vinyl billboards. dadgear make a backpack from billboards, too. there’s the monsoon vermont trashion backpack. i’m sure there are a ton more. i mean, c’mon!

  3. mermaidlost September 3, 2008 at 2:09 am

    G’day… two points…. 1. to the author, the line ‘student’s around the world are gearing up for the long haul’ just ruled out your Australian market, who have summer break over Christmas. Hate to be a nag about this, but there is another hemisphere connected to the internet. 2. I love the solar panel bag AND I’d pay $300 for it if it really works.

  4. Androo September 2, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Ugh. I really don’t think faddish solar powered backpacks belong there. Being able to drop $200-400+ on a backpack to charge your plethora of consumer electronics sounds an awful lot like conspicuous consumption.

  5. nurbie September 1, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Nice bags.. too bad they are out of my price range :-/

  6. 2monkees August 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    very cool packs!

  7. Jeffrey August 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    AWESOME pics! i especially love the timbuktu bags.

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