Friday, 27 November 2009

All I want for Christmas is solar powered...

We've put together a cracking top 5 Christmas present list full of ideas that all utilise solar energy. Why not give a gift that's green this Christmas....

1) Solar charger for mobile phones.
A handy gadget to have if you're out and about - after all, not every tree has a mains socket does it? These handy devices store the suns energy and can then be used to charge up or power your mobile phone. There are quite a few different models to choose from now. Some are more powerful than others, some power more than just phones and can also power handheld game consoles. Check that the one you'e buying will actually fit your phone.

2) Solar Powered Garden Lights.
Hardly new but I was amazed at the range of different styles now available. Each light has a small solar panel built in that charges that individual light with enough juice to stay alight well into the early hours. Perfect for paths etc where it's difficult to lay a mains cable, patios and driveways, rockeries.

3) Solar inflated 'air ship'
An interesting concept in kite flying, a kind of flying sausage you fly like a kite on a string. Roll out the 'kite' and the material soaks up the sun, making it inflate. Once it inflates, it's size means it should just float upwards but it may need a helping hand to launch.

4) Solar Powered Torch.
I know what you're thinking - it's usually dark when you need a torch. That may be so but there's nothing to stop you charging one up in the daytime is there? Just think of all the money you'll save on torch batteries or arm ache from all that winding.

5) Solar Powered Battery Charger.
If you've got to use batteries and lets face it, everything from a computer mouse and wireless keyboard to toys and games do use them, then anything you can do to cut down the battery shopping bill does more than save money. It also saves precious resources and waste. Of course, you'll also save electricity normally spent re-charging batteries so that makes rechargeable batteries even better for the environment.

Bonus Idea: 6) Not strictly solar powered but we like this idea a lot. So much so that it's going on our Christmas list. Rechargeable AA batteries that fit inside a handy USB powered charger. If it only saves buying mouse batteries, then that's got to be good hasn't it?

Feel free to chip in with your own suggestions in the comments below.

photo credit: cordery

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