<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/daninkahn#">The Conscious Consumer</a>

The Conscious Consumer

Less really is more, when it comes to consumption

Microsolar power: plug into the sun

solar charger

Credit: Todae Eco Store

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These days you would be hard pressed finding people who don't have a mobile phone, let alone a GPS, MP3 Player and digital camera. Although these devices are relatively low consumers of energy, the fact they most of them are running fairly regularly, combined with their sheer numbers mean that these devices as a collective actually consume enormous amounts of energy.

And as demand for larger screens and more bells and whistles on these devices grows, so does their consumption of energy.

With this trend in mind, about five years ago I managed to source - from an overseas website - a very crude version of what we now know as solar power chargers. It required me to have my phone plugged into it when charging, and took around four to five hours to charge my phone. As you can imagine, this was a little inconvenient at times.

Technology has changed a lot now days. Today's solar chargers have far more efficient solar panels, internal batteries that let you charge your device from stored sunlight, and come with a range of output options for many different devices.

So what does this all mean for you? If you're anything like me, once you start using solar chargers, you can't go back.
Here are some of ways a Solar Charger has changed my life over the last few years:

  • Saving energy - meaning when charging my phone I'm not consuming any additional CO2
  • Energy Independence - "The cool factor" of knowing that I have my own micro solar power station and I'm farming sunlight (albeit on a micro scale) to power my gadget addiction.
  • Portability - I only have to carry one charger for all my devices if I am travelling rather than all the various separate power points.
  • Remote Power - for travellers or adventure folk, having a spare power source you can recharge and draw on anywhere at any time (planes, treks, etc) can come in very handy.
  • Education - People have often asked me "What is that thing?". This creates a great opportunity to educate people (especially kids) about the wonders of solar power and how easy and cool saving energy can be.

I remember being at a music festival a couple years back and have all the local campers flock to my tent, when word got out that there was "a guy who had a solar charger" around. There's nothing like having this sort of power in the palm of your hands!

Danin Kahn, CEO of Todae Eco Store