Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Inhabitat's Back to School Contest Winners for 2013

Last year Inhabitat held a contest for students who were asked to write brief posts about making their school year more sustainable. The young people of today are the changemakers of tomorrow, so contests like this one are of immense importance for the future of our planet and our species.

The three winners received a Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack full of eco-school supplies.  The winners were awarded based on their sustainable school solutions and what they would do with the prize.

Here are the three winners of Inhabitat's 2013 Back to School Contest:


1. matthewbarkley

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.

2. couchsurfingcook

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!

3. Alix!

Back-to-School Poem for Eco-Geeks (revised)

Going back to school? Don’t have the jitters!
With Green Apple bamboo pencils,
we can save the earth’s critters,
‘cuz biodegradables can reduce people’s litter.

I’ll make plenty of earth-conscious friends,
if I share my Treesmart colored pencils.
And I’ll be the one setting the trends
with non-toxic EcoSmart refillable pens.

With all our modern devices, we need to cut back
on our individual carbon footprint—
sporting a Voltaic solar-converting backpack
is quite an ingenious and fashionable tactic.

Making it on time to all of my classes, whereat
I have to behave and can’t play in the mud
can be a bit stressful, so I’m really glad that
I can take lots of breaks to read Inhabitat!

If we can, we reuse before we recycle,
like making a clipboard from electronic waste.
Thanks for diverting that stuff, Terracycle;
upcycling and salvaging our garbage is vital.

A Miniwiz wine carrier that illuminates your tasks?!
Who thinks of these crazy designs?
I might prefer to use it as a portable flask,
but I have a BPA-free Dopper bottle for that.

With all my smart and eco-friendly supplies,
I feel good about doing my part for the planet.
There are so many innovative designs to beautify
and restore our precious earth, water and skies.

Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources."
It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student's eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources. 

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