Tag Archives: go green

15 Reasons to Go Solar in 2015

orangesunsimmeringThe United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.

This initiative is intended “to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.”

And what greater source of our light to appreciate than our ever-loyal sun? There is no better time to consider—and embrace—solar technology. Here are 15 reasons why going solar in 2015 makes sense.

By doing so, you will reduce energy costs related to household utility bills (specifically, electricity).

Even if solar systems and products cost more upfront, they end up being more affordable to use and maintain over time.

solar panelSolar technology is continually being improved, meaning increased efficiency and lower production costs—which eventually mean savings for the end user.

Handheld solar products don’t depend on electrical outlets for power, making them portable and useful.

The energy gained from the sun is renewable—free and unlimited.

The increasing demand for solar is producing jobs at an ever-increasing rate.

Solar systems and products often require little maintenance over time.

Reduce the need to purchase batteries to power devices.

Decrease your environmental impact (billions of batteries are thrown away each year, all of which end up in landfills.

When using or purchasing solar energy systems, tax credits or rebates may be available, on federal, state, and local levels.

Use of solar-powered devices decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar products and systems are not noisy; they silently produce energy.

Helps prevent the depletion of natural resources.

Solar power is versatile; useful for both high-powered and low-powered devices and applications.

Handheld solar products are reliable in emergency situations.

Whichever of the above reasons help motivate you to make the transition into using solar energy, you can be assured that the change will benefit you and your family for years to come.

This Holiday Season, Shop Green; Save Green

Christmas-greenBlack Friday was the indisputable reminder that holiday gift giving is well on its way—and that many stores stop offering steep discounts after the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

But if you’re like many shoppers, there are many things still on your list to purchase for friends and family before Christmas. What’s a person to do?

We have good news: Solarrific is offering discounts to our online shoppers for the rest of the holiday season, until December 31st. (Which means you can find stocking stuffers and larger gift items for just about everyone on your list—all without leaving home.)

Just use coupon code HOHOHOSO at checkout (when shopping via our website and on Amazon), and you’ll receive 20% off your order until December 31st.

Here are our picks for just about everyone on your shopping list:

The Kids

When shopping for the younger members on your Christmas list, you can’t go wrong with fun, colorful stocking stuffers. These flashlight keychains are perfect for this purpose, and our stick-on bluetooth speakers are a kid favorite, too.

Solar/ Handcrank LED Flashlight Keychain (W4010)
Solar/ Handcrank LED Flashlight Keychain (W4010)
Bluetooth Rechargeable Stick-On, Splashproof Speakers (S8001, 2, 3, 4)
Bluetooth Rechargeable Stick-On, Splashproof Speakers (S8001, 2, 3, 4)
The Travelers

Whether taking a road trip or an international flight, traveling can present both hazards and minor inconveniences that can be remedied simply by being prepared. Our auto emergency tool is perfect for road travel during colder weather months, and the international adapter is perfect for the jetsetters in your family.

Auto Emergency Flashlight (E6001)
Auto Emergency Flashlight (E6001)
International Travel Adapter with USB Ports (C5021)
International Travel Adapter with USB Ports (C5021)
The iPhone Photographer

Make sure your family’s shutterbug has all the power he or she needs for impromptu family  photos and special holiday moments. This power bank provides a convenient backup for your cell phones and tablets.

Mobile Digital Power Bank, Dual USB 7800mAh (C5014)
Mobile Digital Power Bank, Dual USB 7800mAh (C5014)
The Gardener

For green thumbs, this solar floating fountain will enhance any garden, whether you have water features or want to create your own.

Solar Floating Fountain (G3033) - birdbath not included
Solar Floating Fountain (G3033) – birdbath not included
The Outdoor Enthusiast

This portable solar charger is a great gift for the explorers in your family, whether they may be hikers, fisherman, or mountain bikers. Not only does it provide a steady energy source for connected digital devices, but it can be easily attached to a bag or backpack. The charger comes with a 2000 mAh external battery, and can be used for mobile phones and small 5 volt digital devices. Available in three colors: black, orange, and camouflage.

4W Solar Charger with 2000 mAh External Battery for Mobile Phones and Small 5V Digital Devices. Comes in 3 colors: black (C5018), orange (C5019), and camouflage (C5020).
4W Solar Charger with 2000 mAh External Battery for Mobile Phones and Small 5V Digital Devices. Comes in 3 colors: black (C5018), orange (C5019), and camouflage (C5020).
And Now, for the Festivities!

Last but not least, get into the Christmas spirit—without spiking your power bill during the winter months—with these solar-powered string lights (available in both color and white).

Solar Multi-Colored String Lights (G3031)
Solar Multi-Colored String Lights (G3031)
Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 2.13.12 PM
Solar White String Lights (G3030)


Summer Adventures, Part 1: Solar-Powered Essentials for Outdoor Explorers

high mountains trees and reflection in water

Saturday’s Summer Solstice marked the official start to the new season. In the following weeks, we’ll be sharing helpful tips and must-have solar essentials for all your summer adventures, whether you are an outdoor explorer, avid gardener, or seasoned traveler.  However you’ll be spending the long, warm days ahead, we’ve got the goods.

The Great Outdoors: Solar Explorers

From pitching a tent to casting a line, many summer adventures will have you in the belly of Mother Nature, oftentimes away from creature comforts such as running water and electricity. While part of the pleasure of getting away is disconnecting from the digital world and other modern conveniences, it’s a good idea to be able to access emergency services, should the need arise.

For starters, these portable, functional products harness the sun’s energy to provide comfort and peace of mind when in the great outdoors. Just enter promo code summer10 during checkout to receive ten percent (10%) off your order!

5 Solar-Powered Must-Haves:

There’s no need for lights out at your camp out: these solar-powered flashlights are designed to last.

Solar/ Handcrank Waterproof LED Flashlight (L2026), and Solar/ Handcrank LED Flashlight Keychain (W4010)

If you’re packing light, this 4-in-1 flashlight, radio, alarm, and charger has it all.

4-in-1 Flashlight Radio Alarm Charger (R1006)
4-in-1 Flashlight, Radio, Alarm, Charger (R1006)

When venturing into remote wilderness areas, it’s not just your legs that should remain fully charged—your mobile phone should have some juice, especially in case of emergencies. When on the go, whether hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, or fishing, this portable solar charger is a great way to ensure the energy stores on your digital devices remain full (just be sure to keep yourself hydrated, too!). It comes with a 2000 mAh external battery, and can be used for mobile phones and small 5 volt digital devices. Comes in three colors: black, orange, and camouflage.

4W Solar Charger with 2000 mAh External Battery for Mobile Phones and Small 5V Digital Devices. Comes in 3 colors: black (C5018), orange (C5019), and camouflage (C5020).
4W Solar Charger with 2000 mAh External Battery for Mobile Phones and Small 5V Digital Devices. Comes in 3 colors: black (C5018), orange (C5019), and camouflage (C5020).

And just for fun, who can resist the ultra compact radio cube? It’s perfect for lakeside lounging.

AM/FM/WB dynamo crank radio cube
Solar/ Handcrank AM/FM Radio Cube (R1007)

So what are you waiting for? Gather your gear, pick up a few extra gadgets you may be lacking, and head for the hills. To send you on your way safely, here are some additional outdoor safety tips, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Prepare healthy and safe food.
  • Include safe physical activities.
  • Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Avoid wild animals, and protect family pets.
  • Fight the bug bit.
  • Prevent temperature related illness.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.
  • Avoid water-related illness and injury.
  • Be prepared.

Find more details about camping health and safety from the CDC, as well as a packing checklist here.

Why This is the Year to Go Solar—14 Quotes to Inspire Green Living in 2014

Every year, right around January 1st, millions all over the world resolve to eat better, exercise more, or otherwise make more mindful decisions related to personal health and well being.

But what about making other changes—changes that impact our planet as a whole? In fact, why not make 2014 the year you embrace solar technology?

sun-quoteRest assured, that doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul of your home’s heating and electrical system (although there is a wealth of information online to help you make such a transition if you’re so inclined!). Sometimes making significant lifestyle changes begins with taking baby steps.

Here are some affordable things you can do to get started:

  • Contact your representatives to let them know where you stand on the use of fossil fuels versus alternative energies. It doesn’t hurt to call your power company, too, and ask them to support these latter forms of energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal.
  • Opt for solar-powered devices, such as chargers, flashlights, and radios (peruse our online catalog to learn more about how these products work).
  • Use passive solar heating by opening curtains/blinds on the south and west facing sides of your house and removing solar shade screens.
  • To save energy (and coin), use solar-powered outdoor lights, especially during the darkest months of the year.

Believe it or not, making even small adjustments can make a big difference! Here are just some of the ways going solar (particularly by using solar-powered devices) makes sense:

  • Conserve energy, save money (the money you’ll save on batteries alone is ample reason).
  • Set an example for your children when it comes to mindful energy use.
  • Solar gadgets are convenient, efficient, and they look cool, too.

Still need a little inspiration? Here are 14 quotes from top thinkers that we hope will motivate you to think solar for the New Year!

“The sun is the only safe nuclear reactor, situated as it is some ninety-three million miles away.” –Stephanie Mills

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” –Mahatma Gandhi

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more.” –Gaylord Nelson

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” –Wendell Berry

“Perhaps the time has come to cease calling it the ‘environmentalist’ view, as though it were a lobbying effort outside the mainstream of human activity, and to start calling it the real-world view.” –Edward O. Wilson

“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species—man—acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.” –Rachel Carson

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” –Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“The next step in man’s evolution will be the survival of the wisest.” –Deepak Chopra

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breath the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something.” –Carl Sagan

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” –Moses Henry Cass

“The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” –Pope John Paul II

We’d love to know what resolutions you’ve made this year. Tell us in the comments below!


Light the Night this Holiday Season: Win A Set of Solar Festive Lights from Solarrific

holiday lightsWhether you celebrate the festival of lights, Christmas, or any other customs this time of year, one thing is for sure:

The holiday season is upon us!

To celebrate, we’re giving away a set of 100-LED white festive solar lights—and the drawing happens in just a few days! Entering is easy: All you have to do is visit our contest page, make sure you’re a fan of Solarrific on Facebook, then enter your email address for a chance to win.

Happy holidays from all of us at Solarrific!

UPDATE 12/23/13: Congratulations to Christi Andrews, the winner of our giveaway! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for future giveaways.

Solar News Roundup: Including Trends in Robotics and Transportation

It’s about that time—time for another solar news roundup, where we share information about trends and updates in the solar industry. Learn more about the solar technology being used by leading corporations and in public places, as well as cutting edge new research, and even its application in the world of robotics. Happy reading!

First, for a look at solar technology being employed around the nation, both in business and in public places, read on.

solar powered table on campus
Solar-powered table on campus at George Washington University

Next, have a look at some of the incredible ways solar power is being used worldwide.

Changwon's solar-powered tower is the largest and highest in the nation.
Changwon’s solar-powered tower is the largest and highest in the nation.

When it comes to transportation, solar technology is being employed more than ever before.

This pilot program outfits police cars with solar panels.
This pilot program outfits police cars with solar panels.

Also, check out these new discoveries in the world of solar and cutting-edge innovations.

Solar-powered cube
A concept of the solar-powered cube ‘Desert Cascade’ depicts a cascading waterfall in the middle of the desert.

You might also be surprised to learn about the use of robotic devices in solar installation, maintenance, and more. Read on:

These solar-powered Morphs move about and self-assemble to interact with humans.
These solar-powered Morphs move about and self-assemble to interact with humans.

And for further reading, learn more about groundbreaking research that is sure to change the world of solar as we know it.

Energy from... solar lasers?
Energy from… solar lasers?

‘Tis the Season to be Solar

It’s again the most wonderful time of the year—time to deck the halls, trim the tree, and hang the lights. Is your home—and your pocketbook—ready?


This holiday season, why not save some coin and light up the night with energy-efficient LED bulbs, powered by the sun, rather than electricity?

For starters, LED lights last up to 100,000 hours and consume 80 to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, the latter of which have only about a 3,000 hour lifespan. LED bulbs are also much more durable than their glass bulbed counterparts.

Relying on solar power also eliminates the need for electricity—along with the associated expenses and safety hazards (electric shock, fire danger, tripping over pesky cords, etc.).

If you’re looking to make the switch to solar, our festive string lights are the perfect way to subtly transform your outdoor space into a winter wonderland—without the cost and the hassle.

All lights are sale priced from $9.99 to $24.99 (depending on the number of bulbs per strand), and are available as long as supplies last. Find them on our website:

Solar white festive lights – available with 24, 50, or 100 LEDs:

Click the image above to learn more.

Solar multi-colored festive lights – available with 24, 50, or 100 LEDs:

Click the image above to learn more.

Solar Technology News and Trends [Roundup]

solar panelThere’s been a lot happening in the world of solar technology in recent weeks. And while Solarrific’s primary aim is to offer some of the most innovative solar- and dynamo-powered products available, we also make it our goal to keep our readers up-to-date on new developments in the solar industry.

So, starting today, we’ll regularly provide a roundup (via our blog) of solar news and trends so that you, as the eco-conscious consumer, can stay informed.

First, get a closer look at solar power at work around the nation, from a California recycling plant to Wisconsin’s bike paths.

Next, learn more about new developments in solar technology, including groundbreaking research that promises to change the industry as we know it.

Lastly, learn about worldwide solar happenings, including new inventions that utilize the power of the sun and rural towns being transformed by this exciting technology.

Do you have solar news you’d like to share? Drop us a line at: info at solarrific dot com.

Solar Means Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

A few weeks ago, we shared highlights from the Solar Means Business report, recently released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar. The report ranks the top 25 brands to install solar power at their warehouses, stores, and facilities; and research therein reveals that these organizations alone create enough solar energy to power 73,400 American homes (wow)!

To see a graphic look at the top ten businesses mentioned in the report, take a look at the Solar Means Business infographic below.


For a closer look at the research, view the full report here.

Solar Means Business thumbnail

“Solar Means Business” Reports Top 25 Brands

Solar Means Business thumbnailWhat comes to mind when you think of such brands as Walmart, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Volkswagen? While these Fortune 500 companies are similar in size and revenue, there’s another common denominator: their use of solar energy.

In Solar Means Business, a new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar, the top 25 brands in the U.S. are ranked based on their installation of solar power at their warehouses, stores, and facilities. (View a photo gallery of these installations here.)

Top Companies by Number of Installations
Top Companies by Number of Installations

“These iconic brands are leading the way when it comes to efforts to reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources,” says SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “They’re also helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the U.S. economy and improve our environment. At the same time, they’re reducing operating expenses, which benefits both their customers and shareholders.”

This shift to solar energy is, in fact, better for the bottom line, as electricity costs often represent an organization’s single largest operating expense. In many markets, companies can either generate their own solar energy or purchase it at or below retail electricity rates—and solar energy prices can be locked in for decades. And with a federal investment tax credit available when powering their facilities—and continually decreasing prices in solar systems—it’s no wonder that American companies are choosing to invest in solar.

We were impressed by these additional findings from the report:

  • The top 25 brands have deployed more than 445 megawatts (MW) of solar energy at nearly 1000 facilities in 30 states, a 48 percent increase from just a year ago. (That’s enough solar energy to power 73,400 American homes!)
  • One in three Americans (117 million people) live within 20 miles of at least one of the installations mentioned in the report.
  • As of mid-2013, cumulative commercial deployment totaled 3,380 MW at over 32,800 facilities throughout the country. This is an increase of more than 40 percent over last year. (SEIA and GTM Research, Solar Market Insight: Q2 2013)

Also worth a look is the U.S. Corporate Solar Projects map below, which indicates where the top corporations in the nation have installed solar. Click on the map to visit the interactive site.

U.S. Corporate Solar Projects