GreenSmart Bags (And A Giveaway!)

Posted on September 8, 2010 by NPW

Every year around the end of August I get myself all in a tizzy about finding a new bag to bring to school. I have very specific needs and wants; it has to be big enough to lug around six classes worth of research projects, plus my gradebook, lunch, water bottle, and professional review magazines. I need to be able to carry my laptop when traveling. It needs to have enough compartments for writing utensils, hair ties, flash drives, and keys. The strap needs to be long enough that I can carry it slung low by my waist, but it also needs to be adjustable, because I am nothing if not totally fickle.

This August I received an email from GreenSmart asking me if I would like to review their bags. Despite my intense bag requirements I agreed to try them out. And since the people at GreenSmart are lovely they sent me not one, but TWO of their recycled bags to test. I chose to use the Baringo messenger bag as my school bag because it’s spacious and comfortable to wear, plus it came to me in a snazzy blue with orange interior. I’ve already had compliments from a bunch of teachers! But the best part about this bag, in my opinion, is that it was made using 31 plastic bottles that were broken down and made into fabric.

They even have a breakdown of how 100% of the fabric is made from plastic bottles. Fascinating! And surprisingly soft.


No joke, I told my principal about the recycling process after he complimented me on the bag and I could practically see the admiration sparkling in his eyes. Way to make me look good, GreenSmart!

But the love didn’t stop there. I also tested out the Mandrill backpack (in olive) during our long weekend trip up to Maine. It seemed to be a great size for travel and has a separate back compartment for your laptop, which always comes in handy. This bag uses an even 40 plastic bottles to create the interior and exterior fabrics. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a good-looking bag, either!

Because they are delightful, the people of GreenSmart have agreed to give away one of their awesome bags to one lucky winner. All you have to do is check out their website and leave a comment about which of their products would suit your green lifestyle best! Please also mention which color you would prefer, unless you want me picking for you (I mean, we all know I have awesome taste).

One person will be selected at random from the comments section. Comments that will be included in the contest will close on Wednesday, Sepember 15th, 2010, at 11:59 pm, EST. Good luck!


  1. I’m sure you’re the coolest kid (adult) at school. How envious I am of you!

    I’d like a messenger bag in either brown or green. Having one will propel me on the path of coolness. Of this I am convinced.

    September 8th, 2010 at 9:21 am
    Comment by Howling Hill
  2. I walk to work every day with my dog. So the Mandrill Backpack would make my life much easier. I’m not picking about the color, they all look amazing!

    September 8th, 2010 at 9:31 am
    Comment by Michele Christiano
  3. I’d love a baringo bag in black/silver! Putting myself back into college in my 30′s is challenge enough, LOL…I need a great bag to help keep me organized!! It looks like all the extra pockets would give me enough places to store all my stuff, and the laptop space is perfect! And come on, who wouldn’t feel great about owning a back that’s so environmentally friendly :-) I’d be one stylish, organized, environmentally-responsible woman walking onto campus this year!!

    September 8th, 2010 at 9:50 am
    Comment by Katherine Twyman
  4. I would LOVE the Indri backpack in green to use as a super cool diaper bag for my kid :D The less-conveniently-designed diaper bag we use now is made from recycled pop bottles, too, so it would be neat to transition to another one. (Call me, GreenSmart! Kisses!)

    September 8th, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Comment by velocibadgergirl
  5. Baringo in Olive. I mean, throw some work out clothes in there, your laptop and some snacks and I’d be set for the day.

    Okay, so I don’t ALWAYS put my stinky socks in with my laptop, but it’s happened.

    September 8th, 2010 at 10:38 am
    Comment by k8
  6. Mandrill Backpack would make things easier for me.

    September 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am
    Comment by m
  7. Lovin’ the olive Mandrill Backpack. What an awesome giveaway! Should I warn you now that I can be terrible about checking email? LOL

    Thanks for the heads up, even if I don’t win, it’s definitely a bag that I’ll consider buying anyway.

    September 8th, 2010 at 10:56 am
    Comment by Jennifer
  8. What a terrific give-away! I love, love, love the bag!!!

    September 8th, 2010 at 11:05 am
    Comment by Melissa
  9. I’m loving the Puku in Olive. It would be a great grab and go diaper bag for my husband, who is always complaining how bulky my normal diaper bag is. With all of the differend pouches, I might be able to downsize as well!

    September 8th, 2010 at 11:43 am
    Comment by Janie
  10. I like the Puku in green and brown. I’m hoping to get a new laptop soon, and this looks perfect!

    September 8th, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Comment by Lauren Peterson
  11. I love the Mandrill in Olive. It would definitely hold my nursing school books

    September 8th, 2010 at 11:55 am
    Comment by Heather P
  12. I have to say, I would also go for the Baringo messenger bag. I do love blue but I would pick black only for the “matches everything”ness. Awesome giveaway!

    September 8th, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Comment by Arielle
  13. Ooh, I would love, love, love Narwhal in burnt orange. The bags are all great! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    September 8th, 2010 at 2:31 pm
    Comment by Fran
  14. Love the Mandrill Backpack. I was just thinking of replacing my diaper bag with a backpack to free up my hands. I love the blue but I’d pick the black because my husband would use it then too.

    So amazing what they can make out of recycled bottles.

    September 8th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
    Comment by Jessica
  15. I would love to win the Baringo in Mocha. What great products–and the bags made from recycled plastic bottles seem to wear much better than canvas.

    September 8th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    Comment by Valerie
  16. I have been wanting a sleeve to protect my laptop when I carry it on trips, but had not found the perfect one until I saw the Akepa – MacBook 15″ laptop sleeve in Azalea on GreenSmart’s web site! It’s gorgeous and I can feel good about using it!

    September 8th, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    Comment by laura
  17. I could raelly use a laptop sleeve, right now I have nothing to carry it mine in. I love the cool down feature in the bags. I would like the Komodo-17″ it only comes in black.

    September 8th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    Comment by SunRae
  18. Would absolutely adore having the puku in black. My textbooks and notes would love me for no longer squishing them in random non weather friendly canvas bags!

    September 8th, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    Comment by Hilary
  19. I am on the eternal quest for the perfect backpack. Is an olive Indri it? I’d love to strap one on. From one Media Specialist to another, you’re my hero, NPW!

    September 8th, 2010 at 8:37 pm
    Comment by Lynn
  20. I have seen the Baringo Messenger bag live and in person and LOVE it for it’s looks and size! I have two very active little boys that require lots of travel “stuff”, even if it’s just going up the road to the local Target, and they are in my humble opinion too cool for a typical baby diaper bag! This bag would absolutely ROCK as their “big boy” bag! I like any color…I have a feeling NPW and I would have similar tastes so I would trust her choice if I were to win this!

    September 8th, 2010 at 10:05 pm
    Comment by Nahil Hays
  21. I’m liking the Baringo messenger in Olive. It seems to be the epitome of organization and would probably fit my widescreen 15.4″ laptop, which tends to be a squeeze in the standard 15.4″ opening – love that the Baringo offers an extra .2″! I currently work from home and like to get out every now and again for a change of scenery – this bag would help a lot with that. And I have tentative plans to go back to school soon, so I know it’d come in handy for everything that entails as well. Thanks for the opportunity to win something like this!

    September 9th, 2010 at 10:45 am
    Comment by Emily
  22. 21 comments and counting? Dang- I need to do a giveaway.

    September 9th, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    Comment by mickey
  23. I’m sure the puku will make me smarter. I need a good book bag (messenger bag) I especially love the process of spinning the plastic chips into yarn! Brilliant. Did I say I need a good book bag? Green is good.

    September 9th, 2010 at 9:16 pm
    Comment by Neale
  24. baringo in black n silver! It’s what a bag should be, except for the price :/ but, you know, I’ll survive somehow without it, too, and now there’s THE bag for next semester if I can swing it.

    THANKS! :)

    September 10th, 2010 at 4:07 am
    Comment by rachel
  25. how funny, i was just looking to buy a laptop bag as a gift. i’m thinking the puka in orange is perfect.

    September 10th, 2010 at 9:47 am
    Comment by penny
  26. I’m most in love with (emphasis on “most”, because I’m definitely in love with a few) the Baringo bag in black. It’s just modern and stylish and I’m probably going to buy one if I don’t win one… haha. Might take a while to scrape up the money though, I’m a poor student! I’d use it to got to uni, because the weight of my textbooks destroyed my favourite tote bag. I’d also use it for my overnight trips to visit friends, so that I don’t have to take a backpack and a separate purse. Seriously, they look amazing. Such an awesome product!

    September 10th, 2010 at 11:33 am
    Comment by Megan
  27. I ♥ the olive Baringo!! It looks like the perfect size for me and I love the style and color combo.

    September 10th, 2010 at 8:30 pm
    Comment by cammie
  28. I love the Mandrill in Ocean blue! I haven’t had a backpack in years, and I think it would be fantastic to use as a carry on when I travel.

    September 11th, 2010 at 4:38 pm
    Comment by Diana
  29. I would love a green diaperbag for my cloth diapers! I love the products and look forward to buying them for my kiddos in a few years!

    September 12th, 2010 at 1:22 am
    Comment by Lynn
  30. As my husband is heading back to college next summer, the Mandrill in either olive or black would suit our family the best. He would love this product as he has been the one to really drive our family toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. (Not to mention, I love the bag as well!)

    September 13th, 2010 at 4:07 am
    Comment by osarah

Leave a comment

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

  • Stay-ad

    Support This Site