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Gear Talk: Buy Beer… Not Batteries

April 20th, 2012

We waste a lot of batteries. But, there are some small ways through which we can cumulatively make a positive change. It can be as simple as switching one habit in our household as often as possible. With the present evils of global climate change, oil and gas dependency, plastic waste issues, the water and sanitation crises, and more it is good when we are handed simple solutions to immediate problems.

Our energy sources are being tapped. Enter companies that are making a difference:

Solio is the leading developer of hand-held solar chargers. Their newest device, the CLIP-MINI, is a simple and efficient rechargeable lighting product. With the CLIP-MINI, outdoor travelers have an easy and non-toxic power supply. The CLIP-MINI utilizes the clean energy of the sun, or optionally the wall, charging via solar power or alternatively by plugging into the wall via the included USB charging cable. It eliminates the use and waste of single-use batteries. And, it costs nothing to operate via solar power.

The CLIP-MINI also has incredible power storage. With an internal Lithium-Polymer battery that stores charge for up to an entire year, and a high-efficiency solar panel to charge off the sun, the piece is reliable for most charging applications. All Solio products are compatible with a wide range of devices from GPS units to MP3 players to smart-phones and cameras. If a device is USB compatible then it can most likely be powered via a Solio product.

There is a diffuser mode that alters the lighting color, a bike-safety mode, and an integrated carabiner that easily clips to objects for the solar charge process. Weighing only 3.6 ounces and encased in a durable shell, the CLIP-MINI withstands daily use while offering energy sustainability.

SOLIO also walks its talk. An Oakland, CA-based, 10-year-old company, Solio provides rural communities in Kenya with home solar lease options, providing access to affordable clean energy and lighting systems. And, through its support and partnership of KIVA, an entity that provides microfinance loans and assistance to solar energy entrepreneurs, Solio helps individuals start green energy businesses of their own.

So, buy beer and not batteries. Everyone will happier in the long and the short run.

Kim Havell is one of the world’s premier female ski mountaineers. Her career began as a ski coach in the Telluride valley before¬†transitioning to climbing and ski mountaineering in the San Juan Mountains. Before leaving Telluride, Kim went on to claim first female descents on several classic lines. She is one of only¬†a handful of females to have major ski descents on all seven continents, including first descents on four of them. Kim has been featured in several ski films over the years, and when not skiing, keeps herself busy by writing for Outside Magazine, Powder, ESPN, National Geographic and more.

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