Q&A.; Pack to School


Q. I'm returning to college this week and desperately need a new backpack. I'm having a hard time finding a good selection just searching websites. Thanks! Susannah B.

A. Susannah, your questions reminds me that in the dim, distant past I was going to make my fortune designing green daypacks. But decided the world just didn’t need any more, it was overrun with the things as it was. Let’s have a peek though, at just what is out there in greenish daypacks. The sort with two shoulder straps suitable for lugging books and laptops around the campus. (We previously covered eco field bags here.) The most obvious reference to an eco pack that you’ll find is the solar enabled bags that will help charge digital toys, like phones, iPods and cameras. Alas the panels on most are not yet up to charging notebooks.

We’ve always had a soft spot around here for Voltaic, as they were one of the first to push the concept. The top of the line Voltaic Rucksack has heaps of room for all your educational needs. It’s $239 USD.

A lookalike, is the Blue Sun, from Clear Blue Hawaii. Retails for $300 USD.

Reware’s Juice Bag is another that does packs, instead of only tote or messenger bags. Though you can convert it to shoulder bag as well. $175 USD.

You could plump for the recycled angle, in which case you be looking at something like the EarthPaks. Say, their Transcension seen here ($40 USD), which is conjured from 98% recycled materials, most of which came from discarded PET drink bottles.

Or if ‘reuse’ is more your thing, then Yellow Port have these packs constructed of pre-loved trucking tarpaulins. Not sure on pricing but available out of Brazil and Australia.

Or consider the Used Rubber USA’s Kelly Backpack, a reclaimed rubber inner-tube shoulder bag, with detachable backpack straps. $116.00 USD.

Sold by Rawganique of Canada can be found the range of Ecolution hemp packs, crafted from pesticide-free Romanian hemp. The HBP4 Mini is $30 CAD, also available also in black, blue, or green (sounds like a bruise!).

Still in the hemp field is the line from Pure Sativa. Their Rucksack PS16 will set you back £42.50

A personal favourite is Terrapax. Mostly for their very holistic ‘industrial ecology’ approach to materials selection and manufacturing. Their Rucksack is $137.60 USD as a web special.

Another bag in the sustainably harvested realm is the Spider Monkey backpack crafted from TreeTap, a fair trade type program, that sources natural rubber from South American rainforests. $125 USD.

And no doubt there are a swag of other out there too.