Starting this month, I'm going to start a series on innovate companies creating products or services that impact people and the environment. These will primarily be early stage startups doing their part to make day-to-day living more sustainable. Each month, I will feature a company or non-profit doing their part.
First up is a company I found and backed on Kickstarter in 2015. I was intrigued by their product, the SolarPuff. This was a cube light powered by solar energy. I'm still very surprised that we are not doing more to hardness the energy of the sun. It's the one renewable resource that we can easily take advantage of now. With so many advancements in technology, I am amazed that there aren't a lot of companies out there figuring out ways to make solar energy more accessible.
Solight Design is the maker of the Solar Puff. The Solar Puff is a cube light powered by a small solar panel. It is made of PET, water resistant and recyclable. The SolarPuff will fully charge in 8 hours in bright sunlight and give 8-12 hours of light. It is compact and light. This may not be a big deal to those living the first world, but the main thing I love about the company has been the commitment to distribute these lights in areas damaged by storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters. If you've ever lived in an area, mostly third world countries, where rolling black outs are common or areas where electricity can be hard to restore after a natural disaster, the SolarPuff or it's other equivalent is a safe alternative to candles and fire.
Here are the many benefits of Solight’s solar lamps in developing countries that we take for granted and are not so obvious in the first world (as found on the website, source: http://www.solight-design-media.com):
1. Provides light where there isn’t any electricity (the obvious)
2. Reduces use of kerosene (nonrenewable energy)
a. Reduces carbon footprint, global warming
b. Improves health from not breathing toxic kerosene fumes
c. Reduces risk of fires and personal injury
d. Provides more disposable income to families as a result of not having to constantly purchase kerosene for lighting purposes
3. Reduces violence against women and home intrusions – where there’s light there’s less likelihood of intrusions
4. Helps create more light hours at night so women can do other chores or extra jobs that require lights e.g. sewing etc
5. Our lights are used in sea rescues and field hospitals around world.
6. Reduces use of cheap disposable toxic batteries that damage the environment
7. Improves education – children can study in the evenings and for longer periods without relying on costly kerosene lamps.
Currently, Solight Design is back on Kickstarter where a pledge will get you your very own product, plus the opportunity to give one to those needing light. Specifically, donations will be made to those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.
I have the SolarPuff and was able to use it for camping. Thankfully, living in the US, I don't need to use it everyday, but for those living in third world countries, this can be a life saver. Check them out and consider pledging to get your own and help someone in need.
Consider buying one as they donate 3% of their profits to NGOs to help find safe, sustainable lighting solutions in other parts of the world.