LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)

by , 09/04/13
filed under: Announcements, Contests

green back to school supplies, green back to school contest, green school supplies, sustainable school supplies, green office products, sustainable design, green design, green products, green school, eco school supplies

Enter Inhabitat’s 2013 Back to School Contest!

We can’t believe how fast summer flew by – but now that fall is on the horizon it’s time to start getting ready for a green school year – and Inhabitat is here to help with our 2013 Back to School Contest! This year we’re excited to offer our readers a chance to win one of THREE solar-powered Voltaic Converter backpacks stuffed full of eco school supplies that will help you start the school year with a lighter footprint, including a Dopper water bottle, EcoSmart Markers, Treesmart pencils, Terracycle circuit board clipboards and other eco school gear from Green Apply Supply. Voltaic’s Converter Solar Backpack (worth $129) is equipped with a potent photovoltaic solar panel that can keep your handheld gadgets charged all day long. All you have to do is tell us how you’re going to green your back-to-school routine this year – so check out our full instructions below and enter today!



(If you are not already a subscriber.) We’ll be announcing the winner in our weekly newsletter, so if you want to find out who won, you’ll need to receive it in order to claim your prize!


Just visit Inhabitat’s Facebook page and Voltaic’s Facebook page and click on the “Like” button at the top.

Tell us how you plan to green your back-to-school routine this year. The deadline for this giveaway is Wednesday September 4th at 11:59pm EST. We’ll pick the comments we like best and announce the winners in our newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up!

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Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack

Voltaic‘s Converter Solar Backpack is the perfect book bag for tech-savvy students. Its streamlined design lets it fit on the most crowded bus, and a 3.4 watt photovoltaic panel provides a steady source of on-the-go energy – perfect for keeping your phone charged during long days on campus. A padded sleeve protects your laptop, and an included battery provides up to 14 hours of talk time when fully charged.

dopper, bpa-free bottle, reusable bottle, water bottle, green back to school supplies, green back to school contest, green school supplies, sustainable school supplies, green office products, sustainable design, green design, green products, green school, eco school supplies

Dopper BPA-Free Zero-Carbon Water Bottles

450,000 single-use plastic bottles are bought every minute in US – and only 20% of them are recycled. It’s a staggering statistic, but Dopper has set out to stop plastic waste by launching a line of vibrant BPA-free reusable water bottles that are perfect for students on the go. Each zero carbon bottle is topped with a convenient lid that offers a wide or small opening and can be used as a cup, and the Dopper project also dedicates proceeds from the sale of each bottle to support clean water projects in Nepal.

wine lamp, lamp recycled wine bottles, recycled lamp, recycled materials, green lamps, green lighting, miniwiz, rewine, re-wine lamp, re-wine miniwiz

Miniwiz Re-Wine Desk Lamp

Miniwiz‘s Re-Wine is the ultimate multi-tasker, doing triple duty as a wine carrier, a building block, and a most impressively as a lamp! After the wine has been enjoyed, Re-Wine utilizes the empty bottle to create a one-of-a-kind energy-efficient lighting solution that can be setup as a pendant or a desk lamp. Each Re-Wine is made from Miniwiz’s patented POLLI-BER material, a new textile made with the byproducts from rice farming and thermoplastic production. The Re-wine is a CES 2012 Innovation Design and Engineering Award winner.

Treesmart, All Star Recycle Set, Treesmart All Star Recycle Set, recycled pencil, recycled rulers

Treesmart Student All Star Set

Treesmart is in the business of turning trash into fresh new products for creating and communicating ideas. Their Student All Star Set comes with everything you need for note taking, including a set of 12 pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper, a recycled ruler, and color pencil set. All of their products are non-toxic and they always keep environmental impact in mind.

ecosmart, ecosmart markers, refillable markers, eco markers

Ecosmart Refillable Markers

Featured by National Geographic’s Green Guide as one of the safest school supplies, EcoSmart Markers (also called AusPens) eliminate harmful toxins such as xylene and toluene that can trigger asthma, headaches, brain fog, and skin rashes. the Ecosmart Starter Marker Kit comes with 6 non-toxic, refillable markers (in 6 assorted colors) with 6 refill inks. Each bottle of refill ink will refill a marker at least 32 times–this is the equivalent of about 200 markers! This sweet set also comes in a fair trade zippered pouch made of organic cotton.

terracycle, recycled school supplies, green back to school supplies, green back to school contest, green school supplies, sustainable school supplies, green office products, sustainable design, green design, green products, green school, eco school supplies

Terracycle Circuit Board Clipboards

Terracycle is a fantastic company that upcycles waste that is traditionally non-recycleable into fresh new products. These Circuit Board Clipboards are made from cast-off circuit boards that have been salvaged and repurposed into sturdy (and stylish) writing surfaces.

green apple supply, bamboo pencips, bioplastic math set, green back to school supplies, green back to school contest, green school supplies, sustainable school supplies, green office products, sustainable design, green design, green products, green school, eco school supplies

Bamboo Pencils and Math Set from Green Apple Supply

Green Apple Supply is one of our favorite go-to shops for all kinds of green housewares and eco school supplies. Their Bamboo Mechanical Pencils are easy to hold and have a beautiful, natural finish, and their 12 Piece Corn Plastic Math Set is made from non-toxic and renewable bioplastic that is 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable. The Math set includes a compass, compass leads, a divider, a protractor, two triangles, a ruler, a mini screwdriver, two 3″ pencils, a pencil sharpener, and an eraser.

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  1. boyka October 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks Inhabitat i wish to win

  2. imanigreen315 September 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    i ride the bus to and from school and everywhere else.

  3. jaimerto September 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    So we have schools to go to in the future.

  4. peachespie peachespie September 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    My employer subsidizes my bus pass, so it is *crazy* for me to drive anywhere. I am committed to riding public transit almost every day, and I hope to combine that with bicycle riding to completely eliminate any car trips. No more bottled water or daily plastic (or paper) cup waste, as I now have a refillable bottle and refillable cup. Trying to buy mostly local and seasonal food (using a CSA program, as well as growing my own), and I check labels on *everything*, so I can support locally-made products. Recycle, compost, reduce garbage waste, reduce carbon emissions, support local businesses and farmers…these are my goals. I promote these ideals to everyone I know to the point of being annoying, but \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”repetition is the best teacher\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”!!

  5. mjr48 September 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I give my kids reusable water bottles for school and reusable containers for lunches. The new school products are great ideas! It gives parents more green choices.

  6. Betty Shoemaker September 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

    love this conatest backpack is really neat

  7. jane ryan September 5, 2013 at 8:10 am

    This is very inspiring news: All of the green products shown here are well done and earth-conscious. We need more community and socialization. Thank you for the information and a chance to win a solar backpack! Who knew!

  8. Antigoni Mantsiou September 5, 2013 at 5:36 am

    use last years equipment!

  9. Julie Moore September 5, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I would love to receive these Earth Honoring Gifts for Myself and my sons. we use aluminum water bottles lined with Plastic ,these would be healthier! The Solor Back pack would be for me And my tablet I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’m doing College on now, The Boys will get their turn with it when I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’m Done! LOL! we\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’ll share what ever I win, If I win:-)
    Thanks for keeping us in the Know About helping our Earth stay around longer& Healthier, and how to do our part! Julie Moore

  10. Jon Brooks September 5, 2013 at 1:35 am

    yes please

  11. Greg McDavid September 5, 2013 at 1:32 am

    a new backpack for my daughter would allow us to give an underprivileged child a new backpack for their school belongings (we’ve just bought her a new one)

  12. clairev September 5, 2013 at 12:32 am

    My town just started a recycling program. My grandmother has already been recycling but we are both going to help some of our older neighbors learn how to do the program. It can be confusing to them, they have never done it, and they don’t always know what you can and can not put in the bins. I talked my parents into using mostly LED long lasting light bulbs. Also, I am building a compost tumbler AND a kitty condo with leftover wood I have picked up around the neighborhood. I am only 14, and pretty new to ‘green stuff’, but the more I learn about it, the more I want to know because I want the earth to be around and still be beautiful for MY kids when THEY grow up. Thanks.

  13. Bill McMillin September 5, 2013 at 12:16 am

    It’s time to go back to grad school. I am going to school and the kids are going to school. This would be great as we could/would share it.

  14. Pj Drew September 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    my children are using all previously used 3ring binders this year! their school switched to real utensils and real “china” for food service, and the school has paper and other recycing programs in place. We are personally saving all “discarded” paper and cardboard to use in “papercrete” that we are going to line our pond with. We are starting a farm coop of aqua and hydro-ponics and grow all organic foods!

  15. gr8chefmb September 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I start playing brain games to get my brain functioning again, and I try to go to bed earlier…LOLOLOL!!! Actually, I don\’t really do anything special because of my strong belief in lifelong learning. The day is wasted if you have learned nothing new.

  16. Kimberly Kelly-Sydow September 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I plan on being more green this year by posting our PTA newsletter online, instead of sending out paper copies, I also am planning as the PTA President to put recycling containers in my daughter’s middle school for paper and aluminum cans, because they currently do not have any placed in the hallways or cafeteria for these items, just regular trash cans that do not get recycled items separated out.

  17. keithever September 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    great contest, cool things for back to school

  18. Adam Osmak September 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    walking to class instead of bussing it!


  19. Kay Slonka September 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I will share this with my daughter and husband. My daughter is finishing her last year of University and then on to her Master’s. I, too, have just gone back to school. My husband and I are getting ready to build a green home and be totally off the grid, so we will make VERY good use of ALL the items and supplies. :)

  20. louisbernstein September 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    To put the sun to good use when I move to Arizona shortly.

  21. Ivan Torres September 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve been a loyal reader since I met Mrs. Evelin Lee at a green architecture activity a few year ago. I NEVER win anything, anywhere…so I won’t even fantasize about winning and being able to design/work on the go with a solar backpack and my computer…but thanks for the opportunity anyways! :) As an Eagle Scout, I’ve been living a green-life since I joined the Boy Scouts of America in my early childhood. I live along the policies of the BSA’s “leave no trace” and always do my best to go green with all of my freelance design business manners both onstage/backstage & on the architectural field as well.  In architecture (and also in theatrical design), I’m 200% pro-LEED and with a lot of effort, I’ve started campaigning (though example) to make LEED’s way of doing things the norm  at all of the projects that I’ve been involved with. 

    As a gradute Architecture Student (with a bachellor’s and a Master’s degree in Environmental Design) …plus  a freelance Production Designer & Show Technician (with a minor in Technical Theatre and Directing); I’m always on-the-go & in contact with tech-savy people as well as with people with good economic wealth….but that are doing   NOTHING to save our planet’s resourses and living a more conscience-driven lifestyle.  I’m always an example for them all about how “living-green” isn’t about becoming a hippie  and moving back into the forest. They’ve realized through my example that  it doesn’t even have to be like that. They’ve also started noticing that even thou it might be a bit too-complicated at first, a greener lifestyle has great personal AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS. 

    By winning these prizes, I would be able to keep on being a “green role-model” for them all, who are in their majority EXTREMELY NON-GREEN and close-minded people. Having to deal with that kind of people every day is frustrating at times….but at the places/theaters/venues that I work at most of the time; I’ve started to gain respect and admiration for my efforts…and some of my closest colleagues have started to emulate my behavior and choices.  That’s feeling is incredibly rewarding and it’s really motivating to see them following my green-lead. 

    I guess a more deserving person will win this time, but thank you all anyway for the chance ….and for keeping up a page as INCREDIBLY entertaining, educational and well-kept as Inhabitat is!

  22. irisdale22 September 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    this would be such a wonderful gift for my son. He has had the same backpack for 8 years…he loves hiking and plans to return to graduate school. thanks

  23. davemurphy davemurphy September 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I am going to wash dishes instead of using paper plates and plastic ware at our free school breakfast program at Trinity Church in Claremont NH!

  24. davemurphy September 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I am going to wash dishes at our free school breakfast at Trinity Church in Claremont NH. Instead of using paper plates and plastic ware.

  25. Gloria Lynn September 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    As an unschooling family we do much in the line of “green schooling” these prizes would be a great gift for him.

  26. Joshua Atwal September 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Wow! This would all come in handy whenever my wife travel to martial srts tournaments around tbe world, going to snowboard, promote the use of green products to my business partners, but not only that, I can flaunt around with stylish and at the same time useful products.
    I can already see it now. Cell phone always charged so that I can use it for talking with the fam bam while I am away carving down the slopes of mt. Shasta (not necessarily at the SAME time) or if I evergo abroad again to Turkey or some other foreign region I could generate my own source of power.

    The only thing to really top off this awesome list of products would be that soccer ball that can generate power after kicking it around for a half hour…
    Man can only dream. Or can I?

  27. India Em Artist Author September 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I am ON the green train!!! And so excited about these prizes. I am going back to college for an arts degree and all of these will support my “green train” and be very beneficial. Also the more others see products like this, they will be liable to get on the green train!!!

  28. Christine M. September 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    We use as many recycled and upcycled and reused items as we can. We also use natrual materials as much as we can.

    subscriber tubbytelly at gmail dot com

  29. lphouston September 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    After two years of our family using public transportation and bicycling, we felt a need for a car but guess what, I got a PLUG IN All Electric Leaf!
    Our family is setting the example and we would love to show off a backpack such as this which would charge one of our kid’s iPads (we’ll have to splurge and buy a second, so the other is not jealous!)

  30. whidone September 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    the plan is to use fabric lunchbags (reusable), real napkins (not paper) and reusable water bottles for drinks. A plan to trade \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”hand me downs\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” with cousins, so clothing isn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’t duplicated. I want all the kids to learn early on that what they consume should be thought about carefully.

  31. elisabattilani September 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    The technology is one of the most powerfull instrument the man can use for improve the live on this planet and if it is combined with all the utility stuff the man can do with recicle material we could be “on the horse” in a green way.

  32. elisabattilani September 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    The technology is one of the most powerfull instrument the man can use for improve the live on this planet and if it is combined with all the utility stuff the man can do with recicle material we could be \”on the horse\” in a green way.

  33. rocketbox September 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    At the beginning of 2013, I made the commitment to “go green”. I left a lucrative job as a cog in the capitalist machine to pursue work in the sustainability sector. I now work on the go, marketing and advocating green roof policy, products and programs. I’ve also greened up my personal life by switching to 100% natural, organic, fair trade and chemical-free products (brushing teeth with baking soda, shampooing with honey, etc), and shopping for groceries exclusively at farmer’s markets and local independent establishments. Not only have I cut my grocery bills in half(!) by avoiding big box stores, but the changes to my physical and mental well-being have been immeasurable. Most of all, I love engaging people in conversations about how easy, fun and rewarding it can be to live a healthier, greener lifestyle. A solar backpack would supercharge this effort –literally– by allowing me to work on the go without power concerns, and environmentally-friendly accessories would drive more conversations and engagement about the power and potential of environmental stewardship. Thanks Inhabitat for being such a fantastic resource for so many eco-conscious readers around the world — you are truly one of the driving forces in the green movement, and I wish you continued success going forward!

  34. carolynbb September 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    This would be the coolest for one of my eco-guardian kids in Bogotá. No one else has anything like it around here!

  35. nriebschlaeger September 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I am taking as many classes as possible on line to eliminate driving.

  36. Tashia Gilbert September 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I will be greening my back-to-school routine this year by using biodegradable products, water bottles with filters, and recycling more

  37. Nate Oakley September 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Cool backpack!

  38. Iris Mic Case September 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    less meat & use of dopper water bottle over disposable plastic ones.

  39. puritynectar puritynectar September 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    All these things are so practical! I would like to set an example for others in my line of learning (which is politics). However being a student its next to impossible to afford such a practical (and should be common) solar backpack. As for the desk lamp – that is my kind of style. One thing for many uses, very neat idea. And of course the pencils and sets are a must and the refillable markers are also just genious! Going green this year with this gear would inspire much more innovative ideas. I am practical and try and get the most out of items I buy. I cook instead of going out often. I have my eco-footprint in the back of my mind constantly.
    Thank you inhabitat for being so great and innovative!

  40. game_hunter September 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I love the thought that went into all these products and would love to make use of them day in and day out at the office. Great stuff.

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