Powerful Change in a Small Package

I wrote last week about Utah-based Goal Zero's efforts to bring solar power chargers to victims of Hurricane Sandy, giving folks the ability to run essential appliances and lights as they wait for utility companies to rebuild a vast and vulnerable electricity grid.  The company has a "one for one" relief effort.  For every solar device purchased through its online store or participating retailers (including Amazon), they will donate a kit to Sandy relief victims.  As of late last week, the company had already lined up about 2,500 donated kits for victims of Sandy.

The Goal Zero products range in size -- from units that can charge cell phones, to larger kits that can keep a refrigerator running -- but the impact is always powerful.  For people that are without electricity, being able to count on a sustainable light supply can make a world of difference. Obviously solar charging kits are not going to replace the grid, but I hope they turn out to be a gateway drug of sorts, demonstrating the alternative of distributed generation (e.g. roofotp solar) to a dirty and cumbersome centralized grid that maximizes profit for shareholders and executives, and leaves customers in the cold.

Photo from Goal Zero website.  One of their smaller portable solar charging kits.

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