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.

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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. Henry Bman August 26, 2013 at 7:35 am

    It doesn’t get any greener then working from home. The less you use, the less the waste etc.. I plan to use the pack when I have to travel to the office or when I go out into the world looking for inspiration for my art work!
    Thank you!

  2. takdol August 26, 2013 at 4:12 am

    I’m going paperless.

  3. takdol August 26, 2013 at 3:34 am

    I’m going paperless this year. I will encourage my teachers to be digital

  4. carlrat August 26, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Teaching environmental ethics requires modelling those ethics. These would be great gifts for students who show they are committed to change.

  5. Tecchie August 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I would take the bus abd ride my bike way more often and fully utilize the solar charger to offload my carbon footprint from the power grid also, I’d charge my laptop, phone and ipad mini. :-)

  6. imanigreen315 August 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    This year i am going to reuse all of my previous school supplies from the past two years so i will not have to purchase anymore i will also go paperless and use my iPad instead to take notes and do/email my homework. I will use a reusable lunch box that i can take everyday and i will not waste food and i will ride my bike to school because it’s not only healthy for the environment but also for the body.The foods i eat will mostly be made at home so that i will not have TO USE paper to package it. I will make sure that my clothes and shoes are also green.

  7. andrew495 August 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    As a Green Energy Major this would help greatly, showing students that you should be environmentally Conscious even when it comes to studying about being Green is a great point to make to my Green student body. This semester I’ve purchased a bus pass and have sworn to take only the greenest form of transport the my campus as possible, the bus and my trusty bicycle. I’ve been result hint all the best products for an environmentally Savvy student and with minimal funds for college students now a days this great eco- gift to my education will help me learn about saving our planet while saving it with the tools I learn with.
    Thank you for your consideration

  8. goloco21 August 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Having just moved back to the Midwest, I’ve been shocked by the complete lack of public transportation, but regardless, I will be relying on buses and biking to get to and from school. Being a computer science major and an independent consultant, I am already lugging a full complement of devices. Having a mobile charging capability would not only help me maximize my devices’ utility, but it would provide this product maximum exposure to the “early adopter” target demographic.

  9. Kyle Thomas August 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I commute a lot and this would be great for charging my cell and tablet

  10. skif August 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I never throw away used paper – I always collect it and send for recycling. I try to avoid buying plastic bottles, items with rich paper and/or plastic packaging, I do not take plastic bags in shops. Of course, classify garbage and tell all my friends and relatives to do so. It is very pity to watch photos of plastic “islands” in our oceans and so.

  11. NorthOfEm August 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    This set of school supplies would be great for a year of working on my degree in Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University!

  12. Cara Libro August 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    This would be great for my school. As a teacher my students see us acting as ambassadors for the planet. We recycle and reuse as much as possible.

    I have also given away my car and ride my bike to school everyday so the backpack would get a lot of use. There is nothing better than practicing what you preach. Especially when you have to teach it…it is in our curriculum!

  13. Couchsurfingcook August 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    This would be awesome to have for school! The back pack alone would be so useful! Not only would I use it during class to charge my phone up at the window which I sit by, I also go hiking a lot and do camp outs with the Boy Scouts and having access to a portable power source would be great. The water bottles I would use to replace the 5-7 water bottles I use a week at school. The wine desk lamp I would bring with me to college next year. The pencils would be nice as I see I am going to go through a lot of them in drafting class this year. The markers would be nice to have to do those English assignments that tend to eat up markers like a v-12 Lamborghini. The circuit boards clipboards? Well let’s just say those look extremely interesting and would become a conversation starter next year in engineering college. The nice bamboo pencils will definitely be used in calculus class… Where penmanship and a nice pencil is required. Overall, this bag in my possession would get its use!

  14. CameronHazel August 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    My back to school routine is going green this year. I’ve manages to get all my books second hand and same goes for the uniform! I’ve also built a bike from parts so I can cycle to school instead of taking the bus.

  15. Jody Hallowell August 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I walk to and from school every week day, up hill both ways, this is perfect to keep all my gadgets running. I am a computer
    engineer, so I have plenty of toys. This would make me the talk of the town and it would probably sell a couple for you guys also, not to mention the walk I make is next to a main road where I’d be a walking advertisement. I have looked at solar backpacks in the past and had actually liked your the best, this would be a welcome addition to my ever growing gadget collection. Thanks for considering me.

  16. bree August 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    We shop for items made with recycled material and look for items that are recyclable, compostable, and/or biodegradable.

  17. bree August 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    We purchased a recycled plastic calculator and always shop for items that are made of recycled material, biodegradable, compostable, and/or recyclable.

  18. emagdaleno1 August 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I would love to win a solar backpack, it\’d be perfect because I already commute to school and work by road bike rather than drive. It\’d be nice to get to school and have my laptop charged, or my phone. I commute about 30 miles round trip, so that\’d be plenty of time to charge my electronics, and charging it in a green way too!

  19. Derrek Leigh August 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    It’s hard for me not to go green, since I attend the University of California, Santa Cruz. We’re on a mission to become waste-free by 2010, we’re getting rid of smoking on campus, and the city has already stopped using plastic bags in stores. There are also different waste bins for trash, recycling, and compost.
    I do my part to stay green by walking and/or taking public transportation. I also prefer to buy eco-friendly printing paper, and when putting on college events, I usually use biodegradable kitchenware. I’m also planning to buy a bike this year since I will no longer live on campus.
    Having a solar powered backpack will definitely allow me to use less of my wall-chargers and reduce the amount of phantom energy used by my devices and chargers.

  20. David Strobel August 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I belong to an organization at the University of Montana (the International Friendship Program) that matches incoming international students with community members to share fun and enlightening experiences between different cultures. I would love to contribute a Volaic Converter Backpack and its contents with an international student and community friend who proposes a green activity they can share. The University of Montana prides itself in many student sponsored green projects such as a bioBus that runs on the fat waste generated by food service, and vegetable gardens that supply campus meal plans with fresh produce.

  21. Timothy Wang August 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    A solar backpack would be really useful

  22. TeacherMac August 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Terrific Giveaway

  23. Seventhson74 August 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Would Love to win the VOLTAIC! I am a Technology Coodinator for a school district with 27 schools and people ask me my opinion when they make their tech purchases. I would love to tell them to go green AND show them why!

  24. xh2ohopp3r August 25, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Avoid getting bottled water! :)

  25. sduskin August 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

    good eco stuff! Hope to reduce the number of wall bricks I need for my table, phone, etc.

  26. Bradley Westbrook August 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

    With all the gadgets I carry around having a solar power charger in a back pack would be a god send for me.

  27. Stephanie Del Duca August 25, 2013 at 2:23 am

    We’re going green by purchasing recycled products and packing the children’s lunches. They will have organic fruits and veggies and only reusable eco friendly packaging. They will also be using only reusable water bottles instead of the plastic store bought plastic bottles. We’re also starting our own garden so the children can learn to appreciate the environment and learn how things grow at the same time.

  28. Bob Sher August 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I am going to bike to classes. I live far from campus, and have been driving the past 3 semesters, but the time I have been saving has been eaten up at the gym! I figure I can kill 2 birds with one stone (and use rainy days for recovery from my workouts)!

  29. cor August 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I use a lot of battery powered electronic devices it would be awesome to be able to charge on the go.

  30. JeffP August 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Honestly, I definitely want to get a jump start on being green this quarter. I am going to be even more conscious out here in Las Vegas to conserve even more water than before (think water faucets, using air dry instead of paper towels, and even waterless bathrooms) as well as focus on recycling and composting at home/work. That means taking that extra moment or so to choose which container things go into and I feel that I can make great progress by pushing myself! Thanks for the opportunity.

  31. Marcus Lively August 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Via the Instructables application, I will follow a DIY set of instructions to build my very own USB Solar Charger! With 4 USB ports and an integrated lithium ion battery, the panel can provide my electronics with power, whether I’m on Colorado State’s beautiful campus, studying at the park or backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park.

  32. Isabelle Goyer August 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I’m going to Green this school year by never using disposables for lunch!

  33. Thomas Allison August 24, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This year I am attempting to green my classroom by opening the blinds (that all teachers keep closed for some reason) to allow in natural light. I’ve implemented a “recycle everything”program and I have gone to posting lessons, handouts, and other paper eating things on our class Facebook group as well as in my google drive. Students can fill the stuff out electronically and save it back to my google drive thereby requiring less and less paper.. I have also purchased pencils made out of old blue jeans and shredded currency instead of wood.

  34. Tim Houston August 24, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I recently moved here to San Diego from San Francisco, looking for work. With the sun and the heat, this backpack would go a long way to help me ride the public transit here, find a cool job with a progressive company, and have an awesome conversation piece at the same time. All while carrying water and charging my iPhone and Nook! :)

  35. lewy78 August 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    would love to have this to charge up my phone

  36. Seth Ross August 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    What?! I totally need that stuff for going back to grad school next month!

  37. David Martínez Rodríguez August 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    With my flatmates have designed a calendar. We going to cultivate some vegetables in our terrace. DIY ‘high level’.

  38. Rhonda Hylton August 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve been buying supplies that are either eco-friendly or made from recycled materials. Not much green-up in my back to school routine, but its a start.

  39. Lorenzo Grande August 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I will green up my life by buying less goods wrapped in non-recyclable packaging, lower my energy consumption by replacing all lightbulbs with LED ones, and encourage colleagues in my office to recycle more paper!

  40. Tyler Lines August 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Go Green!

  41. איתי כהן-אורגד August 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I’ll go to school or ride my bike instead of my parents driving me with their car. I’ll bring my launch in a box as I always do. Help my sister to collect soft drink bottles for recycling. I’ll join the “green leadership” at school to promote the green concept and actions at school. I’ll make sure that the air-condition and the lights are turned off at the end of the day and the temperature is reasonably tuned during the day

  42. that97mentality August 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I’d really love to win this for my boyfriend. He’s finishing up his master’s degree at the University of Alberta and would be thrilled if I were to surprise him with this. We just moved in together and for the past year we’ve become avid environmental and social activists and drastically reduced our carbon footprints. Activism has become a major part of our relationship and that in itself is super awesome! Hope I win :)

  43. Mary Redecopp August 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    That is the best school pack and supplies ever, I hope I win =D

  44. Susan Mccaghren Lawrence August 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    THIS is perfect combo for any age- forget a purse- and each item is great- offer one to me- our area would benefit from new technology in Southern USA where products are not available- you will make local news!

  45. gebraset August 23, 2013 at 7:17 am

    I would love to win the VOLTAIC backpack and supplies! Using it while commuting would be great, being able to keep my phone charge via an off grid system. The supplies would be incorporated with school as well.

  46. dreamer0 August 23, 2013 at 6:36 am

    1. Already signed up for your newsletter :)
    2. Became a fan of Inhabitat & Voltaic on Facebook (
    3. I plan to green my back-to-school/work routine this year by taking into consideration the suggested products in this article, reducing the amount of one-time use items & consciously purchasing food that is better for the environment & myself.
    Thank you.

  47. marija mmm August 23, 2013 at 4:50 am

    First I will make my room walls green, than I will green up my house, after I finish with it I will green up the neighbours hous and fill their car with plants … Than I will green up entire street :) … Adn if it is not enough green, I will get Backpack Powers and go around the world to green them all :) :)
    I hope I will win this amaizing Backpack :) :)

  48. Puiu Alexandru August 23, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I whant to use this Green Back to School , for trips to nature reserves in my country and use solar converter for green power my Icom transceiver 7000,and do radio links to promote these places WWF (World Wide Fauna) !
    I have always been a person who loves nature and promote green energy use drastically reduce pollution that adversely affects our lives and the environment. in this sense, we created a Facebook page for cities clean and free from pollution..

  49. martinla03 August 23, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I would definitely use this package to the fullest! I am a college student at one of the most sustainable campuses in the world. I inspire students to become more sustainable through new and innovative ways, involving technology, competitions, workshops and education lessons. This backpack full of stuff would be useful to demonstrate students different alternatives that would make a great addition to their lifestyles to become more sustainable. I am always looking for ways to incorporate what we use on our daily lives and finding small changes that can be done to become more sustainable. I am one of a few handful students involved with sustainability in our campuses making an impact and making sure we serve as an example for other college campuses. I want to make sure that every student that arrives at our campus is well educated and gains useful knowledge of simple behavior changes and lifestyle changes one can take on and play an important role in conserving the amazing planet we occupy. Not only do i focus on impacting our campus but also our community as it plays an important role as well. Im glad to share more about my successes and the work that I am doing that inspires many leaders across the nation. Getting a hold of this will mean alot and will definitely help with inspiring and educating many people. Hope we win!

  50. Elissa Breitenstein August 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I will be bring a water bottle to eliminate the usage of disposable, styrofoam cups. I will also be packing my lunches in reusable containers, rather than eating takeout or disposable food containers such as plastic bags. When I save up enough money, I will purchase a bike to cut down on my driving as well & get healthier at the same time.

  51. Kathy Davis August 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I would love to win this for my grandchildren. I’ve been raising them to be environmentally responsible.

  52. Christine M. August 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I will be using recycled supplies whenever possible, pencils, pencil cases, etc. to save on making new plastic or depleting other resources unnecessarily.

  53. bigFISCH91 August 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I’m starting my degree in greenhouse management this year so these supplies would be perfect with my studies on the environment and different plants!! Who knows what this inspire me to do in my career!

  54. foxnot August 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Making sure the grandchildren are energy wise.

  55. intensev5 August 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I liked all the facebook pages and I subscribe to the newsletter. I think we will be more green this school year by taking the time to find back to school supplies that are made in more green ways, make sure we reuse old supplies, buy used items and by planning on packing lunches that are garbage free!

  56. danceinthesun August 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    This semester, I plan on using only energy efficient products whenever I can, and I also plan on riding the bus as often as possible to get from home, to work, and to school in order help save some of the fuel emissions I would otherwise be giving off from my used car. Being environmentally friendly is one of the most important things to me, so I also take my vow to limit my time at fast food restaurants very seriously. I had recently planted an herb garden in my back yard, which not only led to some seriously amazing eats, but it also ended up being a recurring source of nutrition for very little money! I switched to fair trade coffee, and I also re purpose the used grounds into my garden so nothing goes to waste.
    I switched all of my household light bulbs to CFL’s, and have reminded everyone in my family to recycle anything that they can as often as possible. I’m a big fan of arts and crafts, so any time that I can create something beautiful out of something that would have otherwise been trash – I take full advantage. Another thing that I’ve recently began doing and plan to do for the rest of my life, is use reusable shopping bags. I refuse to use bottled water from the store, but would rather use a reusable water bottle with a filter in it. Makes the fountain drinking water at school a lot easier to drink as well. :)
    My entire life, I’ve washed my laundry in cold water, and I’ve strongly urged others to do so as well. Any time that I can run around the house and shut off lights, tvs, games, etc – I do.
    I think that walking to work everyday instead of using the bus this summer has not only saved me money and reduced emissions, but it has also really boosted my mood. Its a beautiful thing. Just benefits after benefits!
    Another awesome thing that I’ve partaken in recently, is paperless statements from my bank. Saves me a lot of stress, and a lot less waste!! Any time that something does slip through however, I go ahead and reuse the back as scrap paper (of course after blacking out any info). I always check with online websites before purchasing new items, and support my local farmers market weekly. I save all of the containers that I receive from them, and use them again and again until they no longer have use. I discovered an awesome website, called “pinterest” which has helped me discover a WHOLE new world of being eco friendly and using the things I have at home already to make what I want or need. I have made quite a few fantastic household cleaners from scratch rather than buy them at the store because of this. Whenever things can be unplugged, I make sure to do so. I can’t stand the thought of the wasted energy. Lastly, I LOVE thrift shopping. I can always find something really fantastic at my local goodwill, and I donate my old items whenever possible.

  57. number1 August 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I would so love to win this

  58. India Em Artist Author August 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Whether I win this Voltaic solar backpack or not, I’m seriously thinking about purchasing one!!!

  59. Marie Echeverria August 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I plan on reusing old school supply’s, packing a lunch in a reusable lunchbox, sharing used books with friends as while as loaning out my old books to them so that we don’t have to buy books. If I win I am a computer major there for the solar back pack would come in real handy keeping my tools charged, plus the clip boards would look awesome when I’m taking notes. I am also going for a minor in art so the art supply’s would be put to great use.

  60. Treyci August 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I\’ve already stopped using traditional paper products: hankies instead of tissues, cloth napkins, etc. But I\’m adding cloth snack and sandwich bags to lunches, as well as washing them with homemade detergent that is safe for the environment and no plastic bottles! Glass reusable bottles for beverages, as well. Recycled notebooks and pencils.

  61. makingadreamhome August 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Buy more local fruits and veggies for school lunches.

  62. Carlos Dias August 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    As a Landscape Architect I take care about the Planet Earth and helped by this green package I can do even more! :)

  63. proverbsmom August 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    We take our recyclables to the school recycling program, so they can get money for the school. We also walk the mile both to and from school each day. We use plastic water bottles instead of buying bottled water, and refill them from the water fountain at school. Instead of buying new school supplies, we reused our folders, crayons, markers, etc from last school year. We would really love the backpack, as a way to recharge our cell phones & iPods to save on electricity (which is 400% more expensive here in Hawaii, than on the Mainland).

  64. terrenth August 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I travel and commute a lot, the bag and bottle would be much appreciated. :)

  65. ☥LonDon WzRD August 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Just give me the Bag

  66. matthewbarkley August 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    At my university, I’ve noticed that we have a massive problem with waste, with the students in my on-campus apartment complex throwing away enough stuff (most of it food packaging) to fill our dumpster several times each day. We have a weekly farmer’s market and a local food store within walking distance of the complex, but most of my classmates follow the lifestyle of packaged food. After learning how to cook all summer and researching whole foods, this year I am committed to eliminating food packaging waste by utilizing the local options in my area and preparing them at home.

    As an architecture student, this set of supplies is perfect for my needs. I have am required to have pencils, markers, measuring devices, and colored pencils anyway, so replacing those supplies with a green option would be extremely beneficial. The Voltaic backpack would be perfect for visiting sites for study, because running architectural measuring apps and recording 360 degree images often drain my phone and camera before I’m finished. The backpack would be an on-hand example of alternative energy to learn from and use when designing building projects with environmental impact in mind. Plus, it’s just really cool!

    Thank you for the opportunity and best of luck to all.

  67. brendasioux August 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I’d like to win this for my daughter! We are working towards a smaller carbon footprint by having my daughter take the bus to and from school (even though it’s ‘uncool’, she is ok with it), having her continue to use refillable water bottles, using the available online school resources to avoid having to print out as much. Great contest, thank you!

  68. Carlos Scott August 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    1.- I go to a commuting college, so I will ride share whenever possible, as public transportation is not available.
    2.- The school I go to has a LEED Platinum designation, so I will work there as much as possible, scheduling my classes so that I do not have to leave
    3.- I’m slowly converting the light bulbs in the house to LED bulbs as funds allow.
    4.- Over the last 3 years I’ve made purchases with an eco friendly thought in mind, from buying groceries from local farms in farmer’s markets, and sponsored local oriented businesses

  69. Kevin Creery August 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I plan to make zero waste lunchs for my kids.

  70. Kuntheary Tiep August 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    These are such amazing, innovative stuff!! Being a school counselor, this would be awesome to have on campus to show my kids! How exciting!!

  71. will_do August 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    My very small yard is all edible or maintenance-free. I encourage clients to pursue greener building/landscape standards by participating in LEED, NAHB, or other programs. I also take the bus to school/work and suggest walking/transit alternatives to friends that normally drive. Additionally, I chose to live in a small, centrally located townhome with numerous walkable resources (grocery stores, post office, drug stores…) in a diverse, close-knit community that shares tools, etc.

  72. sunnymay August 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I go green by carrying my own lunch in a reusable bag and tend to reuse bread wrappers as sandwich bags by using a twisty tie after cutting the breadbag in half. I refill my water bottle with filtered water from home, so save on plastic. Turning off lights and fans in rooms that I’m not in also saves on energy. The Dopper BPA-Free Zero-Carbon Water Bottles have pretty colors and I love the lid which has an interchangeable wide or small opening. The Voltaic Convereor Solar Backpack is a great idea for those who forget to recharge their tech items.

  73. silvanaclicks August 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    This is so awesome! I got the coolest kid in school and him sporting all these amazing products will sure turn heads and spread the word. Greening our school has been top priority for our parent body so I’m sure they’d love to see what is out there for kids and parents as far as products go. PLEASE pick me!!!! I’d love to support the cause! Cheers!!!!

  74. lawndensmomjen August 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Greening our routine by starting a Terracycle drop off at our school, and walking or biking whenever possible, using refillable water bottle and Treesmart supplies. Thank You.

  75. srw1386 August 22, 2013 at 3:51 am

    First of all, I’m a mom and an Elementary Education major, so I love finding out about new green products to use at home and in my future classroom, as well as companies to purchase them from, so thank you!

    I’m taking all of my classes online so that I don’t have to make the 30 mile round trip to and from campus every day. I use online textbooks whenever they’re available. I no longer have to print out assignments to hand them in, so I’m saving a great deal of paper as well. Being home instead of on campus also allows me to walk my daughter to and from pre-school.

    I’m trying very hard to raise my daughter to be aware of the impact each of us makes on the environment so we recycle everything we can, purchase used and eco-friendly products, take reusable shopping bags to the store, find new uses for old things instead of throwing them out, walk whenever possible instead of driving, support the local farmers’ market, and grow our own organic produce. The products in this giveaway are amazing and I would love being able to use the Voltaic backpack to work on homework in the park while my daughter plays!

  76. Rogelio Barrera Jr August 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Would love to use the voltaic backpack to charge my cellphone as well as my camera equipment whenever i’m on a trip or on the bus to school. I would really love using all the rest of the stuff for my classes like the Dopper bottle would save me a ton of money on water. I’m taking a phlebotomy course and this is my last semester it would be awesome if I had all the stuff. Hope you guys consider me thank you guys and I love reading this blog it encouraged me to buy my first solar panel and hopefully when I get a job after I’m done with college I will go Green all the way by installing solar panels all over my house.

  77. ryjohnson2013 August 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    If I won this give away I would first give away some of the supplies to people that need it for their major. Since I’m going to be studying Environmental Engineering I will not likely be needing the refillable markers or colored pencils much so I would want to give that to an Art major of some sort. Also I love being out side and with the Voltaic Backpack I would be able too be outside all the time when I’m studying. This also would allow me to do all my studying in my hammock which I enjoy very much. So I would be very grateful if I did win this and so would be the people I share this stuff with too!

  78. TerpsikWh♁re August 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I do not have a facebook but I have followed both on twitter. I hope that counts?

    I am a former art student who quit because she couldn’t find eco friendly products!

    I am going into a BA program focused on Environmental Studies and Sustainable design at Prescott College in AZ. I feel this backpack would help me accomplish this goal perfectly! The lamp would light my desk… the backpack would allow field studies to become a breeze…the art supplies would help me sketch and map out architectural designs. I also lost my nalgene this year so some replacement water containers wouldn’t hurt! :)

    Love the companies and am excited, regardless, to hear more from this website. Cheers.

  79. nadiacabrales August 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Hello Everyone, my name is Nadia Cabrales and I would like to win this prize for my kids – 13 and 8. As a parent, community leader and also manager – its important to lead by example. We have implemented a reclying program at home, recycle plastic and funds benefit a small group of homeless children close to our community, have had a reforestation program in our neighborhood, have begun our own composting at home , growing some vegetables and fruits. With my children we have also planted bee friendly flowers to help in any way we can to preserve the bee population, have at least 10 humingbirds that feed from our flowers every day. We also recycle paper products and collect our own rain water to water our vegetables and plants. This giveaway package would be a great way to reward my kids for their contributions to our home, community, and planet and motivate them to do more and share with their friends the need to be green and save our planet. Thank You for this opportunity.

  80. raymirey August 21, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Carpooling with other students or taking other students in my car so that they don’t waste gas themselves(School is 15+ miles away). Write notes digitally on my phone or tablet so I do not waste extra paper. Instead of printing information for classes I will save it in .doc or .pdf files in my dropbox so I can read it on any device(I go paperless for all bills as well). Bring my own water or tea in mugs to drink. Only use a laptop if absolutely necessary and unplug when not in use. Shop for food using reusable hemp bags. Recycle any bottles, cans or paper I see lying around.

  81. Paul Harris August 21, 2013 at 4:06 am

    I am returning to college and in this day and age the charger would be very handy. I will be earning a degree in computer engineering technology and plan to design a computer that will separate every type of garbage possible including chemicals from cardboard, metals, etc. I could really use the supplies as well. Thank you. Paul

  82. Eric de Jongh August 21, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Awesome contest, just like last year! This would suit me perfectly since I am starting a new Distance Learning MSc study this year. Since I will be studying in the train, this set would be perfect. And the pencils and math set would be great for my newly wed wife, who is the most creative and lovely woman there is. She is planning to craft a lot of beautiful home designs in her new craft room at home. And everything green off course! :-) thats perfect for our world, as shakespeare once said “I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” Nature is wonderfull as it is, lets keep it that way!

  83. Bryan Tomp August 21, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Spending more time outside or in natural light while studying with the window open to get that fresh air blowing my recycled paper around my desk. Having things with little less on the earth Buying green paper is nice but the greenest thing is not to use and waste it at the start. I am going to try to be less wasteful with power and paper this year.

  84. Anatole Quiros August 21, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I now live close enough to school to bike every day, and I try to shop locally as much as possible. I also try to purchase as many things as I can used, and while this sometimes adds shipping pollution, it also avoids producing and wasting more products.

  85. Cornelio Delgado August 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    My plan to be green and responsible this year starts with my decision to continue using my bike, walking or using public transit every day. Also, this days I am collecting a lot of my office supply that are working in order to reuse for the new year. Finally, I am sharing my older books with new students.

  86. Binh Nguyen August 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    How about growing some of your own food? At $4 a pound, growing some of your own spinach, kale, etc. should be easier for your pockets and a bit on the environment.

  87. melonworks August 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    -I like to pack my own lunch and will be using reuseable containers to pack my lunch and snacks. No more plastic ziplock baggies!
    -I will be buying more produce from the farmers’ market to support local farmers and minimize the fuel used for shipping. It’s time to go organic too to not support the use of pesticides.
    -At UC Berkeley, we have ReUse stations where students/staff can exchange reuseable goods instead of throwing things away/buy new things. I picked up a few binders and used dividers and am read y for the new semester! I also donated my old readers so another student can use it/save paper!
    -I’m using the GoodGuide ( to find products that are healthy, green, and socially responsible. Check it out if you haven’t.
    -A goal this year also includes reducing my meat consumption and to try out composting.

  88. mogale August 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Hello everyone I am new to inhabitat but I can see its doing great things to keep our planet safe habitable.hope this water bottle and a laptop will be useful to my daughter who is in grade 2

  89. osuerte August 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    If I were to win these great eco-friendly bundle I obviously could save a lot, literally. That wine lamp would be great whenever I’m writing or planning, plus those bottles would be a great use, I mean all of this would be.

  90. taciturnforsale9 August 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Biking to and from school and ditching buying bottled water for caring a canteen. Hopefully I can add some solar powered cell phone charges to the list.

  91. Alexis Gamber August 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    All those things would be so useful for my family, with my first son going into 1st grade, my husband going back to school and myself opening my own Eco friendly day care. Even if I don’t win one I am definitely looking into to purchasing many of those items. We already use cloth diapers and reuse and reuse any and everything. I have two beautiful children and I want to leave this world a better place for them.

  92. Laura Garcia August 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    We have water bottles in my house we use all day long and on the go. We also use travel mugs for hot stuff and I recently started buying my kids recycled pencils. Great giveaway!

  93. Jaime Mount August 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I am taking online courses, which reduces the car exhaust and toxins needed to get to the campus for classes, as well as that my courses textbooks are all online, therefore reducing the many pages of paper and subsequentially, many trees cut down needed to produce that paper. When I do need to purchase a textbook, i will do so at the colleges library, and most likely will choose a used one rather than brand new. Now, onto the necessities of life that my brain needs to properly process and utilize what I am learning( or reaffirming) about, Water and food. I use several different canvas totes to store my bought items from the store in, and also use a washable water bottle I got from wells fargo while setting up an account with them. I would love to learn more and do more to help protect our planet, with innovative and resourceful ways to do so. The solar powered backpacks provide a wonderful opportunity to do so.

  94. Sabrina Giesler August 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    We will be doing homeschool so our back-to-school routine will be easy to keep green. No commute to and from, we can recycle all of the paper used, no throw away junk from packed lunches, we can repurpose much of the materials needed for art supplies, etc.!

  95. Ines Rosales August 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve tried to be a green person since I was a child, recycle, produce as little waste as possible, grow my own veggies. Since I heard of the Voltaic Solar backpacks I wanted one, unfortunately the costs makes it complicated to own. It’s a really awesome project :)

  96. eli ramz August 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    If I were to win this bundle of awesome Green items for school, my head would explode. I mean, a backpack with a solar panel to charge my phone instead of sneaking around to look for an outlet during class! Also, I could use those water bottles in the heat of fall. With the other items, my desk would be set for the year and I wouldn’t have to waste money on non-green products! Even if I don’t win, those products being given away are superb! Good luck to all who enter!!!

  97. Rob Rasmussen August 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I’m switching my apartment’s energy supplier to PA wind energy.

  98. dicky jansen August 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Hello Everyone I like Inhabitat becouse nature is number one :-)

  99. Nguyễn Huy August 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    My team is joining some competitions such as FuturArc, LCBTC and Holcim prize with our projects about polluted water problems in my city, green energy for public space and solving them .

  100. Jia Er Lin August 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I will be using a refillable glass water bottle, a travel mug for coffee (and the used coffee will be kept and used as fertilizers for houseplants), and refillable pens!

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