One of the ways that consumers can integrate renewable energy solutions into their lives is by purchasing consumer products and accessories that can divert some of the electricity needs away from the grid and toward the sun, particularly as photovoltaic thin-film solar cells become more affordable.
Ascent Solar, a company that makes consumer-level solar products, will now be selling its line of solar-powered charger smartphone cases on many popular e-commerce sites, including Amazon. Customers who own the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Apple iPhone 4 and 4s models will be able to purchase cases specifically tailored to the designs of those phones. In addition, they’ll also be able to buy solar chargers that can plug into any smartphone with a USB connection.
“The growth of ecommerce as the preferred method of shopping by most American consumers is a trend which EnerPlex is perfectly positioned to take advantage of.”Victor Lee, President & CEO of Ascent Solar, said in a news release.
Ascent also makes thin film solar modules that can be used in other applications, such as construction and industrial processes. The goal of the company is to create off-grid solar products that are easily adaptable into a variety of situations. These products would be particularly useful to customers who are camping or operating in remote areas and need electricity to charge their handheld appliances, or in industrial applications when a wireless charging device would be needed.
One iPhone case by itself isn’t going to offset carbon emissions drastically. But if millions of consumer goods are fueled with sunlight rather than conventional grid power, the effect on emissions and electricity use wouldn’t be trivial.
Keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com for more information on environmentally friendly products.
We wrote recently about some of the best clothing companies for consumers who are trying to maintain green living standards. But some readers may have wondered what, exactly, it means to purchase "eco-friendly clothing." What makes one shirt environmentally responsible while another is not? We've assembled a quick list of some of the things to look for when you're trying to expand your wardrobe without increasing your impact on the planet:
- Natural dyes: These are made from natural products such as fruits, vegetables, coffee and other renewable products rather than chemicals that are toxic or put a strain on the environment.
- Organic and sustainable fabrics: Just like with food, some fabrics are made from plants or synthetic materials that were raised responsibly while others were produced using pesticides, petroleum or other toxic chemicals that are bad for ecosystems or create climate changing gases. It's best to go with the former, which are available from many companies and are now sold in many of the biggest department stores, including Barney's and Wal-Mart.
- Recyclable: Many labels specialize or at least make an effort to produce clothing that is recyclable. For example, Boston Magazine reports that Patagonia has a program called Common Threads in which they take back old clothes you no longer want and repair them for resale.
Lastly, one of the best ways to dress green is to buy secondhand clothing from thrift and vintage stores. These garments would otherwise end up in a landfill where they will decompose and produce greenhouse gases. Buying them used ensures that you'll look good while helping the environment.
Keep visiting LifeIsGreen.com for more information about environmentally friendly products!