green swag: a solar-powered backpack to charge devices
Can you buy a greener lifestyle? Probably not, but there is no shortage of products that promise to reduce the carbon footprint and make your life greener. In a recurring series, I will try some of the more creative products and decide if they are worth paying. Dusk is coming soon, and in the afternoon I took my BirkSun solar boom home for the first time. This leads to my first discovery of portable solar: it only works when you can reach the sun. When you have a desk job in a city, exposure to the sun is not a given condition. BirkSun\'s premise is simple: this is a standard hiking backpack that adds the ability to turn the wearer into a walking solar panel. Or, since the solar panels that stand out from it sometimes make me feel like it\'s a backward tubby. A wire connects the panel to a poly lithium battery made of something called \"SunPower patent maxion cell technology\"- The same type can be found in the iPhone, but the storage capacity is larger. The solar panel absorbs the sun\'s light and converts it into energy, voil! -- Charge the battery. A beautiful range of adapter cables allows the user to transfer the charge to a mobile phone, tablet or other portable electronic device. The battery can also be plugged into a wall socket to make it a more standard portable power supply. I have a bigger plan. For the first time, I experienced the grid. Direct free happiness of solar energy. At least this is the plan. The next morning, the rain had passed, and I walked out of the apartment and into the bright day, with the solar panels pointing up optimistically. Almost immediately, the blue indicator light on the backpack battery began to flash. Because technically this is work, I skipped the subway and walked about 30 minutes to the Midtown office at the salon. When the battery is charged, I look through a transparent window on the side of the package -- Cross the street to avoid the shadow of Midtown Canyon. As soon as you start paying attention, New York is stained with scaffolding. But it wasn\'t enough for me to walk to work and soon became clear and powered my iPad for more than a few minutes. I started a disturbing understanding: I probably didn\'t spend enough time in the sun charging my electronics. My next attempt was on a Saturday afternoon when I took the cosplay to an outdoor concert; I stood in a place for more than an hour and could see the Sky clearly. The sun didn\'t come out, but Richard haysmith, founder of BirkSun, told me that the group would work even if it was cloudy; Even when it rains, he says. I don\'t want to try, but the battery seems to start charging again during the concert. When I connected it to my iPhone though, the little lightning icon only showed up for a few minutes. After that, the BirkSun battery was completely exhausted-so, my hopes for solar energy in big cities seem to be the same --powered life. Frustrated that one morning I went to work with BirkSun propped up by a healthy office window See indoor plants I put it there for a few hours and its panel is facing outdoors while I am bathed in the light of the computer and the phone is charging from a nearby outlet. When I got my backpack back from the windowsill, its battery flashed at 50%-a record high. Progress! It\'s just not particularly useful. Even if I was able to use my backpack to charge my phone and tablet and avoid the grid, it wouldn\'t have much impact. The energy needed to power small electronic devices is negligible. As Richard said to me, \"You can\'t save 8,000 Amazon forest. Still, he promised that the next version of the bag would be made entirely of recycled material. The battery itself is recycled by BirkSun and resold online. All in all, it comes from a sustainable place where I feel more eco-friendly and greener. I mean, I carry a solar panel on my back! Other observations :- As the beginning of the conversation, the backpack is a good thing to attend the party. When I couldn\'t find my ID at the outdoor bar, the bouncer was willing to wave me over, which wasn\'t cool, but he kept busy checking it when I rummaged through my wallet. - On the other hand, I can imagine a more stringent security scenario where the battery pack and a lot of wires are stacked inside can cause trouble. - In addition to the phone, BirkSun\'s customers use backpacks to charge cameras, speakers, tablets, GPS devices, water purifiers, LED lights and lights, Richard said. He claimed that he used it to keep his mobile phone running during the week-long hiking trip. - The bag is not yet able to charge the laptop, but BirkSun is working on it. If this experience taught me one thing, it was that I needed to spend more time outside --- It would be nice to spend a sunny autumn day in the Park, outside and at work at the same time. - This is a good backpack as far as the backpack is concerned. It must be functional: Although it doesn\'t help me much, it charges It is wise that it absolutely allows me to carry my things comfortably. The non- Green Sales: If you\'re just on the portable power market, you can rely on the wall outlet to keep the bag charged and have it replenish a little battery in the sun at once. Unlike me, BirkSun provides a convenient backup if you don\'t select a power strip most of the time. Wallet impact: the basic model BirkSun bag retails for $150. It\'s about twice what you spend on a very good thing. Quality hiking backpack of the same style and size: comfortable with padded shoulder straps, bungee cord in front and laptop case inside. But you don\'t save that much money on electricity either. Charge your iPhone 25 cents a year; Your iPad is about $1. 36. But this is a pretty solid investment in terms of investment. Whenever BirkSun decides to release an updated, better package, you can return your old package and get a 30% discount from the new purchase. The old model will be sent to women in developing countries through a non-profit organization to enable them to start sustainable business. The bottom line is: if you spend a lot of time in the sun, the BirkSun backpack can provide some extra cost for small devices-which may motivate you to go out more --- But it does not allow you to leave the grid completely.