Tag Archives: solar products

Eco-Chic: 7 Must-Haves for a Stylish, Eco-friendly Summer

A couple of summers ago, our Solar/Dynamo Waterproof LED Flashlight and Handy Dynamo Radio were featured alongside a number of other eco-friendly brands in “The Green Outdoors: Backyard & Beyond”, an article written by Sophie Novack for Organic Spa Magazine.

Because summer’s not quite over, and because we think our flashlight (and the other products featured in the article) are as great as ever, we wanted to share the write-up from Organic Spa Magazine (or you can find a link to the original post here).

Enjoy reading and happy adventuring!

Aug13_green outdoor_1

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, whether in your backyard or at a campsite. The best gear should be environmentally friendly, in the spirit of truly delighting in nature, but ideally also preserve our daily comforts. Here are some of our newest and greatest eco finds for the season.

PRETTY LITTLE TENT

The Alite X Free People tent is a lightweight and stylish place to sleep two on a summer night. The mesh canopy is ideal for ventilation, and comes with a waterproof rainfly, in case of rain. Designed in collaboration with the clothing brand, Free People, in a range of colors. $168, freepeople.com/alite-x-free-people-tent-28046068/

POWER PACK

Aug13_green outdoor_7With a compact solar panel and battery pack for charging, the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit is the ultimate eco-efficient, weather resistant, portable power charger. $ 159.99, goalzero.com

PETITE WATER PURIFIER

SteriPEN relies on eco-friendly UV-light technology to keep your water safe while camping. The world’s smallest, lightest UV water purifier, the light kills over 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in 48 seconds, so you can feel safe drinking water on the trail without having to carry some along. It can be charged through a computer, outlet, or solar panel, via a micro USB B port. $119.95, steripen.com/freedom/

Aug13_green outdoor_3

A BRIGHT LIGHT

This Solar/Dynamo Waterproof LED flashlight is equipped for all terrains and situations. It is water-proof, flood-proof, floats on water, and is built with durable casing to prevent shock from loose wires. The flashlight can also be recharged with solar power or by the hand crank, so you’ll never worry about being left in the dark. $19.99, solarrific.com

CRANK IT

Small and extremely portable, the Handy Dynamo radio weighs in at 0.32 pounds and is powered by cranking—one minute of cranking yields 10 minutes of radio time—and includes a built-in cell phone charger, too, ensuring you’ll never be too disconnected. $19.99, solarrific.com

OUTDOOR TRACKSAug13_green outdoor_6

The ECOROX Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is equipped to bring 10 hours of playtime to your most exciting adventures. It is lightweight, compact and 100 percent waterproof and shockproof; the speaker floats face-up and can safely be placed directly in a lake, river, or pool. Plays music from any Bluetooth-enabled device and answers calls over a built-in speakerphone.$129.99, ecoxgear.com

Aug13_green outdoor_2ECO COOK STOVE

The BioLite CampStove uses twigs and other biomass rather than non-renewable petroleum gas to create the fire, reducing your carbon footprint. It also doubles as an off-grid power charger, with surplus electricity available to charge small electronic devices. $129.95, biolitestove.com

Out and About in the Pacific Northwest: A Solarrific Reviewer Weighs in on Our 4W Solar Charger

solar charger leaning against a tree with waterfall in background
One adventurer brings her 4W solar charger on hikes throughout the Pacific Northwest. Pictured: Ramona Falls, Mt. Hood National Forest

Where do YOU go solar?

For many fans of solar and dynamo products, exploring the great outdoors means embracing alternative energy, where the main source of power isn’t electrical outlets, but the sun.

When traveling abroad, solar- and dynamo-powered products are also key to staying connected.

Northwest Adventures

One Solarrific user has been taking her 4W solar charger for a ride (and a hike, and a ferry) on day trips and camping excursions in Oregon and Washington.

And that’s fitting, because traveling these days often means relying on a smartphone for directions and maps.

This can get tricky when you’re sleeping under the stars with no way to recharge. The 4W Solar Charger turned out to be useful in these—and many more—situations.

solar charger on picnic table with tent in background
Direct sunlight is best for getting a solar charge. Pictured: Manchester State Park, Washington.

Staying Connected

For our traveling reviewer, sharing what she’s up to via Instagram, Facebook, etc. is particularly tempting when embarking on epic adventures, like hiking a seven-mile loop to Ramona Falls.

Nevertheless, as she discovered, sharing your agenda can really eat up your phone’s battery.

Easy fix: setting up the 4W charger over a lunch break helps you get the shots you want whether or not everything was fully charged when you left home.

Get a Boost from the Sun

Our outdoor adventurer knew that getting away from the crowds with an overnight stay in Manchester State Park, Washington, also meant getting away from electrical outlets.

The 4W charger provided peace of mind, as it was the perfect way to keep phones ready for use without worrying about saving that last 10 percent of battery life.

solar charger on car dashboard
(Solar) Dashboard confessional: just leave it on the dash and drive to your destination.

Passive Solar: Just Leave It on the Dash

Driving from Issaquah, Washington to Portland, Oregon wasn’t an all-day trip for our intrepid traveler, but she observed that three and a half hours on the road was plenty of time to leave the 4W charger on the car’s dashboard to charge her iPhone.

The 4W charger’s optimal location is in direct sunlight, so leaving it on a flat space in the sun like your dashboard is the perfect way to stay charged.

 

3 Versatile, Eco-Friendly Products for City-Dwelling AND the Great Outdoors

SONY DSCMemorial Day Weekend is the holiday that lets us know summer’s nearly here. And, since barbecues, road trips, and camping weekends are just around the corner, it’s officially time to prepare for outdoor adventures.

But what’s a resident of a big city to do when it comes time to venture out into the wild? Limited apartment or condo space often requires city-dwellers to own fewer possessions than their suburban counterparts, and storing outdoor gear can be inconvenient.

First, try to find gear that can do double-duty, helping you transition smoothly from the city to the great outdoors. This keeps the bang-for-your-buck factor high and your environmental impact low. Here are three products that can help you save money and minimize your footprint as you gear up for the great outdoors.

Pocketful of Sunshine

Solarrific’s Solar Charger with External Battery for Mobile Phones will keep your devices powered up anywhere you go. The external battery is the size of a tube of lipstick and the slim solar panel straps conveniently onto a messenger bag or backpack and fits inside when not in use. You can use it sitting in the park or the campground as long as there is sunshine. This is especially useful if you like to Instagram your vistas and trails—photo apps are a great way to capture the scenery, but they can be real battery hogs!

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).

Reuse, Rewind, Renew

Whether you’re prepping s’mores or trying to fix something under the sink, the Handcrank Head Lamp has got it covered. This ultra bright LED light won’t ever need a new light bulb or batteries. It just takes a little elbow grease to keep things running smoothly and save a few bucks.   

L2012-handcrank-headlamp
Handcrank headlamp with 3 ultra-bright LEDs (L2012)

Say No to Bugs

It’s a long-held truth that some people are just tastier to mosquitos than others. Rather than smelling like chemicals all day, check out the Solar Mosquito Zapper. This is perfect on the patio, porch, or camping pad if any buzzing bloodsuckers are nearby. A small solar cell keeps it charged so you can use it anywhere you’d like to be without leaving a big, muddy carbon footprint. 

Solar-Powered Mosquito Zapper (G4041)
Solar-Powered Mosquito Zapper (G4041)

Now that you have a few earth-friendly, solar-powered tools for both city-living and outdoor adventures, get ready to make this the best summer ever.

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.

L2026-W4010
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.

5 Mother’s Day Solar Gift Ideas

Give Mom her place in the sun this Mother’s Day with a solar-powered gift she won’t soon forget.

If your mom is a gardener, we have a number of products that will help transform her outdoor space into her own private oasis. And best of all, for Mother’s Day we’re offering ten percent off of the following items on our Amazon store.

The solar water fountain kit, which contains three design pattern attachments, makes any small container into your very own water fountain. This kit is the perfect way to create a relaxing outdoor environment, either on your patio or in the garden.

Solar Water Fountain Kit
Solar Water Fountain Kit

This floating solar fountain on a lily pad adds natural beauty to any pond, pool, or large water container. Minimal maintenance is required.

Floating Solar Fountain on Lily Pad
Floating Solar Fountain on Lily Pad
This lovely solar-powered, lily pad and flower light display is a great way to decorate a pond, both during the day, and at night, when the stored solar energy powers the LEDs to the lights.
Floating Solar LED Lily Flowers
Floating Solar LED Lily Flowers
For gadget loving moms, the solar/handcrank AM/FM radio cube is compact, easy to use, and makes a great portable gift.
AM/FM/WB dynamo crank radio cube
Solar/Handcrank AM/FM Radio Cube
And don’t forget about our solar/handcrank flashlight keychain! This is a great safety tool and it’s compact, lightweight, and portable, too.
Solarrific solar dynamo keychain flashlight
Solar/Handcrank Keychain Flashlight

 

 

‘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?

holiday-lights-solarrific

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:

white-LEDs-solarrific
Click the image above to learn more.

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

multicolor-LEDs-solarrific
Click the image above to learn more.

Small Things—Big Effects

white sandy beach with footprints in sandPicture yourself somewhere tropical and warm, walking along a white sand beach. The ocean water is clearer than you’ve ever seen, and waves wash upon the shore at your feet.

But look! What’s that? It looks like a…cigarette butt. But there’s not a soul in sight. Where could it have come from?

The scenario pictured above is exactly what Solarrific founder Grace King experienced only a few weeks ago, while she enjoyed a swim in the pristine waters of the Caribbean during a much-needed vacation.

“The experience made me think of what a throwaway society we are,” says King. “And unfortunately, when we throw things away, the waste doesn’t just disappear. All that trash has to go somewhere.”

One cigarette butt may seem like a small thing, but think about it this way: You wouldn’t throw it into your children’s sandbox, would you?

There is no question that, when it comes to trash in the landfills, the small things add up.

Take used batteries, for instance. It may seem insignificant to toss a pair into the trash. However, millions of these “small” things are thrown into U.S. landfills every year. In fact, an EPA fact sheet says that batteries “account for a disproportionate amount of the toxic heavy metals contained” within this waste.

two batteries

So, next time you throw away a pair of used batteries, think about the part you may be playing in polluting the planet for future generations.

One flashlight, in its lifetime, will use dozens, maybe even hundreds of batteries.

On the flipside, alternative energy, while it may seem more costly initially, is actually more economical over the long term. After five battery changes, the cost of a traditional flashlight exceeds that of a solar or dynamo-powered device.

“The technology is there, we just have to use it,” says King.

That’s why we do what we do here at Solarrific: We aim to make a difference by creating awareness about alternative energy, specifically that generated by solar and dynamo technology. “Many people think alternative energy is a myth, but it’s not,” says King. “It’s easy and practical.”

Visit solarrific.com to learn more and to peruse our extensive product line.

Hot Days, Cool Nights: 5 Ways to End Summer Right

red maple leavesThe passing of Labor Day is a sign that summer is on its way out and cooler temperatures are on their way in. And with the arrival of fall comes pumpkin pie, flannel sheets, and falling leaves.

While autumn brings joys of its own, there are still plenty of reasons to make the most of the remainder of summer. We’d like to share five great ways to usher in the new season, and the goods to help make the transition a little easier, courtesy of solar and dynamo technology.

1. Host a Farewell-to-Summer BBQ

bbq chicken and vegetables on grill

Now that the heat has abated, it’s a great time to enjoy outdoor dining.

So marinate the meat, fire up the grill, and invite your friends over for the last great barbecue of the season.

The Goods: Equip yourself with a flexible solar powered light. With 16 LED lights and a strong clamp, the portable light is ideal for outdoor food prep after the sun has already set.

2. Head for the Hills

high mountains trees and reflection in water

Before the weather gets too cold, make time for one more camping trip.

Whether you’re a hiker, a biker, or simply a nature lover, you’ll be glad you did, because it’ll be another six months before sleeping outdoors is an option for the mainstream.

The Goods: Roughing it doesn’t have to be rough. Solar products have made outdoor play more convenient, especially when recreation takes place far from home and modern conveniences. So toss that outdated lantern, and replace it with one that utilizes alternative energy. Also, Solarrific’s dynamo walking stick makes a great hiking buddy. It’s retractable, crankable, and complete with lights and a warning siren in case of emergencies.

3. Hold a Roast-and-Ghost

campfire at night

Sometimes getting out of town for an entire weekend just isn’t feasible. So at least plan a backyard sleepover for the kids, complete with pitched tents, a marshmallow roast, and ghost stories.

The Goods: For extra ghoulish drama (and an eco-friendly campout), provide the little ones with solar/dynamo powered flashlights. Plus, kids love having their very own lights, especially ones they can hand-crank them themselves.

4. Prune, Trim, Beautify

wheelbarrow on walkway near garden with flowers and pumpkins

Planting season may have passed, and the trees may not yet be ready to lose their leaves, but now is an ideal time for pruning, tidying, and making your yard a retreat.

The Goods: Rather than using excessive electricity, use a solar-powered water fountain kit and solar-powered lights to transform your landscaping. These bubble stick lights are a lovely addition. Also, uplighting, in particular, lends a quick but dramatic effect to tired planters.

5. Tailgate in Style

football field and players

Football season, quintessential to American culture, is the time to sport your team’s colors and show your support. So get yourself tickets or make plans to tailgate with friends.

The Goods: When enjoying the big game from outside the stands, be sure to have a portable, solar-powered radio on hand.

Note: This month, Solarrific is offering discounts on its solar and dynamo radios. We especially like the European Dynamo Radio.

From all of us at Solarrific, enjoy the remainder of your summer!