The Backpack for the Eco-conscious Commuter

As I complete my Personal MBA in the Circular Economy, I am exploring and building my inventory of practical ideas that could or have been commercially applied. Ideas that target Circular Systems, Energy, Water, Waste and Wealth – ideas that focus on using the waste of one process as a valuable input to another.

I have tried numerous backpacks over the years. None of which have been designed for to enable me to be environmentally conscious on my London commute and after my week in waste experiment, I realised that it actually unnecessarily inconvenient to be eco-friendly while commuting. For example reusable cups are great, but need to be rinsed and dried before storing in my backpack.

To reduce one-use plastics (straws, cups, cutlery, bags, bottles, food waste) I think it would be great if we could have a convenient and vibrant backpack designed for the conscious commuter.

Ideas are nothing without execution, so we came up with some criteria:-

1. General:

  • Easy to clean (includes something to clean with)
  • Could have QR or reference code if lost – More easily returned when forgotten somewhere like a pub or on a train.

2. Environmentally focused: 

  • Reusable insulated water bottle on one side (insulated for condensation)
  • Reusable coffee cup on the other side (the dregs ends up spilling in general area)
  • Optional modular add-on(s) –
    • Shoes and/or
    • Food and cutlery contained in separate area (avoid mess)
  • Carrier bags – shopping and lunch (avoid forgetting) – possible expandable area for small shop.
  • Stainless steel straw

3. Commuter focused: 

  • Can compact (crowded trains)
  • Laptop
  • Sun glasses container
  • Solar (potentially, depending on effectiveness, could provide emergency power)
  • Startup funky version  (could consider a simple and stylish board room version)
  • Rubber base for protection

Like the idea? Think it could be better?– Well, we’ve entered it into the Nike Grind competition – Give your support by liking and commenting HERE.

Alternatively let us know if you are interested in partnering to make this backpack.

Design illustrations done by multi-talented Megan Collins – Have a look at her beautiful hand made jewellery.

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