Self-Sustainability tip complements from Sol Green Energy. Home of the best solar charger for backpacking.
Few things in life have a two-month payback; switching to LED light bulbs and bubble wrapping your windows are among them.
Yes, I said bubble wrapping your windows. Our technique combines with other known cost-saving tricks. Altogether this is a 1-2-3 punch to the gut of energy waste. If you have drafty windows and try this trick you will immediately see savings on your bill.
1. Cut the bubble wrap so that you can fill the window area. Mist the window with the spray bottle and stick the bubble wrap on the window, bubble-side against the pane. It stays up, like magic! Repeat to cover the entire surface of your window.
2. Measure the shrink wrap plastic and cut to the size of the window; set aside.
3. Tape around the edges of the window frame. Be careful because just about anything will stick to the tape, including itself! Once this gets messed up it’s an exercise in futility and you have to replace that strip.
4. Peel the tape backing and carefully apply the shrink wrap.
5. Turn on your hairdryer. I use low heat with medium airspeed and get really close to the plastic film, without actually touching it. You can watch as the plastic tightens, transforming the wrap into an additional window pane. This is one time you can let yourself be OCD and smooth out the surface, but be careful because you could melt a hole in the wrap if you spend too long on one spot. Don’t ask me how I know this.
6. If they aren’t there already, put up the window rods and hang your curtains.
Repeat steps 1-6 for all the windows in a room one at a time.
Voila! You’re a genius with two thumbs that’s about to save a lot of money this year!
Why it works:
The shrink wrap creates dead air in-between your window panes. Then the bubble wrap provides more dead air, diffuses light (reducing radiation), and cuts down on conduction by acting as a blanket at the same time. Finally, the thermal curtains act like a bouncer keeping any remaining heat loss at bay.
Radiation is perhaps the most interesting. Heat is light. Being able to see out a window means that all the energy stored in the thermal radiation spectrum just departs from your warm abode to heat up the great outdoors. Not good. The thermal side of the curtains also helps reduce this source of loss a lot too.
Convection is the most effective way to transfer heat. An air fryer warms up your dinner better because heat is uniformly distributed around the chicken (or tofu) while cooled air gets cycled away. Similarly, drafty windows transfer your expensive heated air outside to melt some snow while allowing cold air to back-pressure its way inside. Cutting out airflow means stopping this gremlin from stealing your hard-earned utility dollars.
A drafty window is almost as bad as not having a window at all. Bubble wrapping windows is easy. It takes a little adjusting to the lighting effect, but it’s totally worth it. We usually leave our favorite windows free of bubble wrap (but still layer with shrink-wrap) just so we can see the snow from time to time. Bottom line: this is an awesome way to save money on your heating bill using a few low-cost items and a little time.
We hope this helps, the video should say it all. You’ll save money, fuel, and be more comfortable all winter long. Best of all, in just two months you’ll have saved enough money to buy a SunCharger!
You have a collection of the best gear and a passion for what you do. When it comes to finding the perfect solar charger, it’s important to match the right system to your particular outdoor activity.
Here we set out a guide to do just that; we have matched our three main solar kits to the most common uses and needs. We made this guide as quick and easy to use as we could.
Hiker overlooking the canyon with mini SunCharger in his day pack Hiker overlooking the canyon with mini SunCharger in his day pack
Sol mini SunCharger perfect solar charger for Hiking
Day Trippers: If your outdoor experiences are generally one-day trips, the right solar charger should be something simple you can throw in your day-pack.
Whether your quest is a good view or a great catch, the idea is the same: having a USB solar-power system on hand could save the day after you have used up your phone battery on photographs, and have to check-in or load up a map to get home.
Weekend Warriors: If you find yourself more in the “not all who wander are lost” category and like to leave the world behind you for several days, then you will likely want a more comprehensive USB power system.
If you like to set up a base camp and then go out on trips from there, then add the mini SunCharger Pro to your list of essential gear. With a two-battery system, you will always have a lightweight, durable power bank on yourself and a fresh power bank charged up when you get back to your home away from home.
mini SunCharger Pro is the Best Solar Charger for:
Glory Seekers: Whether camping is your way to budget luxury and adventure into your life, or your passion for adventure knows no limits, you might as well go for the deluxe solar charger package to get all we offer in one convenient bundle. This kit includes the dual-battery system of the pro, plus all our accessories, to give you a complete package of everything you’d want to enhance your off-grid experience. With the deluxe package, ambiance and security go hand-in-hand.
Survivors: If being prepared for anything is what matters most to you, there is no other solar charger on the market as thought out as our Sol Survivor Kit. Not only is the solar charger itself designed to work effectively and replenish its reserves on a daily basis, but it is also rugged enough to withstand inclement weather and heat. Our Sol Survivor Kit also includes high-quality accessories focused on using that system.
Without a doubt, the Deluxe Survivor Kit is the best solar charger for the smartest preppers’ bug out bag no matter what the situation:
As you may see, the mini SunCharger more than just the best solar charger for backpackers. We hope this guide helped you make an accurate and informed decision to choose the right system for you, and find what you were looking for in under 3 minutes.
So tell us what do you like to do? Did our system match right in your opinion?
Opinions reflect the philosophy of Shawn owner of Sol Green Energy home of mini SunChargers – a survival tool in a crisis that un-tethers adventures. Learn more at bestsunchargers.com
At a time when it’s hard to look up and keep positive, I thought I would share some things we have to be proud of in this two-part blog.
Steps we took that lessened the situation irreversibly for the better. Things that cannot be taken away and have absolutely made it better than it would have been.
It may not have been perfect in hindsight, but the truly amazing thing about this new virus has been that we responded immediately on a vast level. We are taking steps to protect ourselves and each other in ways that have never been done before. People are staying home, using new tools to communicate and maintain a semblance of normal life.
All the great “end of days” stories and movies start with ignoring scientists; well look at us we’re listening!
Global Community at work: Nations are communicating with each other and learning from mistakes together.
In Greece, for example, when schools were closed everyone gathered in the cafes – so they had to close cafes. Then people gathered at the beaches, so they too had to be closed.
Moving gatherings from ‘inside to out’ was not the way to stay free from contagion. By learning from example, officials here are going ahead and closing the bars and cafes. 
At the moment, our parks are kept open because we know some fresh air is needed for mental and physical well-being. If people respect the parks, they will continue to remain open. By being polite, but separate, we are both helping ourselves and the other people around us. Fresh air and sunshine will do wonders both for your spirit and your general health.
We’ve identified who needs the most protections: We as a society are acting as a group to minimize our exposure. Access to retirement communities is restricted now, to reduce the risk of infecting the people who need the most protection.
The reason for the restriction is not just because of your own personal state of health; everyone you encounter or interact with within a day is a source of exposure, as is everyone each of THOSE people has encountered. While most of us do not think in these terms on a regular basis, it is an important consideration for our vulnerable citizens. This awareness could lead to reintroducing the idea of “honoring the elders”. 
Our elders have lived life, learned human nature, and have seen times when people didn’t need to learn to “live green” because they had a culture of reusing everything. They prepared bulk foods, canned their own produce, and rationed because they knew life had ups and downs to prepare for. Elders have wisdom. To deny their advice is a form of arrogance that will only make life more difficult. Trust me, I know.
Unity is starting to take root: We are all in this together. For the first time since 2016, Left and Right political tribes are “giving credit where credit is due”. When someone of the other party takes good action or responds well, it is starting to be acknowledged. That is what we need all around. Perhaps being home and online people will discover how many of their friends are in the other camp and start having real discussions. 
At heart we all want the same things: We can agree on 70% of the issues if we listen to what someone is trying to say instead of reacting to what we think they are saying. Perhaps the quarantine time will create those much-needed conversations. If only 10-20% of the issues really divide us, it’s time we stop focusing on those things and start working together from common ground. True unity doesn’t exclude people you disagree with, it means finding commonalities and holding on to them despite differences.
Cooperating to make a common dream come true is what makes us human and without this humanity doesn’t exist. From forming businesses to starting bands and overcoming threats, like this virus, we always do our best together.
Let’s not get scared because of the things we haven’t done, or complacent about the things we have. We are all right where we’re supposed to be, and concerns about what hasn’t been done yet are really just your brain telling you what to do next. So, let’s just breathe and keep going.
Seems like nobody can agree these days and that so many are overwhelmed with fear of what might happen years from now if we don’t change our ways.
As a sustainability guy whose been at it since 2005 I sympathize with the feelings of impending doom, but we really should celebrate the amazing changes we have accomplished and look to the future with the excitement it deserves. In the wise words of Douglas Adams “Don’t Panic”.
In the ’70s cities burned trash in massive cauldrons that emitted corrosive ash into nearby parks and towns. In the ’80s people used to use their car window as a trash can. By the 90’s we recycled. Now you can’t go far without seeing a wind or solar farm.
Today everyone is aware that we are a part of nature and we should do whatever we can to minimize our impact. Oil companies are becoming world leaders in biofuel research, yes I said it, oil companies. We have to face the truth: reality is better than our nightmares let us believe.
The fact is rural farmers and conservatives have adopted these ideas too because self-reliance and making use of waste makes sense. I have a friend who builds biomass converters and makes a living of it, his primary customers are deep in farm country. When we start to see that we are all in this together the fear gets replaced by joy if you let it.
If all we do is focus on the big problem the little solutions right under our nose pass us by. On that note real change must start somewhere.
That’s what makes our mini SunCharger so great. It makes sense. It’s the first step towards a solution that is right under our nose.
Everyone has a phone these days. Like it or not, they are really useful and if you were ever in an emergency having it charged could save your life.
With the mini SunCharger, you can not only keep it charged whenever you need it, but you can also keep all USB devices charged wherever you go.
That means that on your next outdoor adventure or vacation you can stay by the pool longer or spend all your time hiking, taking pictures, and not have to wait around charging your phone. Reluctantly, perhaps, you may want to keep that thing charged…just in case you need it.
So check out the mini SunCharger at our website bestsunchargers.com. If you buy one or not please remember to celebrate our successes this year; as we move together toward a safer, friendlier, and the more natural world!
Climate change. 12 years ago I was just out of college and scared out of my mind. Everyone I looked up to told me in 12 years we would be living in mad max times. I did something with that fear and now if my fears then realized today I would have about 4 months of food and plenty of electricity to keep my life afloat, plus tools to use, seeds to plant, and know-how to develop allies and rebuild.
But here is the thing. Today I hear that exact figure restated, 12 years from now we will be in catastrophic failure. OK wait for a second! I’m all about fixing problems, but fear is totally dysfunctional, it paralyzes people and puts them in an animal-like fight or flight state, it does not solve problems!
I think the concept of being a species that creates systems that transform impact into a benefit for the other life forms on earth is a great idea. That amounts to humans shouldn’t be parasites, we shouldn’t – we should be the best thing to happen on earth! I also think using the energy available from every resource possible and minimizing the use of limited resources is also a great idea.
Living in fear means you are vulnerable to getting help from anyone willing to offer it, I’ve found hustlers are usually the first to offer help. You have to really work to find trustworthy people and a good plan takes lots of critics to hash out. I don’t need fear to drive me to do what’s right and I feel like a lot of people are being worked up into a state of fear instead of working together to do what’s right in the first place!
Climate change is interesting stuff, but it is what it is. We don’t need to beat each other up over it. We just need to keep being the best we can be, doing better all the time, and giving credit when credits are due. We don’t need any more huge expensive programs that just spend money and never work anyway. We need cultural changes to happen and that begins with individuals transforming fear into peace by doing what they feel is right and encouraging others to do the same. That way at least if something bad happened we don’t look back and say “if only”.
I’ve heard a lot of good ideas but so often I don’t see them implemented. Then later in my life, I remember something someone said, and the next thing I know that idea works for the situation I’m in.
Then I wonder why others don’t use their own ideas, and that’s when the invisible nature of ideas comes in.
When an idea is used in the wrong way there is no visual reference to show you why. If ideas were more tangible tools it wouldn’t be hard to see why they didn’t work: if you saw someone trying to use a screwdriver as a hammer you could easily step in and help.
Ideas are not so easy to work out, especially when people get attached to the idea like it’s some measure of their self-worth.
Ideas can be used in the wrong way and it’s harder to realize. It is especially hard when we protect them too long, hold them as special and don’t trust others, or accept feedback.
I’ve been prone to frustration from things “not working” and left a lot of my good ideas behind. I’ve also seen a lot of ideas better than mine left behind. I’ve learned from others and listened to good advice. This has helped me out a lot. Sadly, I’ve seen so many of the people who came up with these great ideas struggling despite their genius.
I think it’s time we stop letting frustration get the best of us. The best medicine would be to stop holding back on our own just because they didn’t work once. Frustration translates to dismissing other people and not listening to new ideas. People should waste less time thinking about failures and take pride in their great ideas, dust them off, and see where they might fit better in new situations.
Maybe the idea was good but the situation wasn’t right. No matter how fancy a tool you have, you still can’t hammer a screw!
We started this year with the dream of becoming manufacturers of a system we developed last year. This system was designed to run a small entertainment system, an internet router, and some lights.
We developed a manufacturing process and connected with skilled builders in the area. We had everything ready to make 3-8 systems at a time in batches. It was great, we were ready.
Then we went out to market it and found out that the system was too expensive for most people and overshot what most people were looking for. We found they were interested in something lighter and simple to set up and store when not in use.
We reached out to our solar panel manufactures and they took us under their wing. By August we had an answer. I must say testing the new systems this September was a blast!
Today, as 2018 comes to an end, it’s a marvel to see how far we went in just 6 months.
We connected with hundreds of vendors, developers, and business leaders.
We shifted our attention towards reaching out to the groups of people who would want their own independent power station on the scale they need.
We created another SunBlox product called the sidekick, became premier dealers of a host of fold-able products.
We even finished the packaging on our first product the mini SunCharger and got it ready for holiday gifts and stores of the future!
We now have three classes of solar power systems: SunChargers, Portable Power Stations, and Custom SunBlox Distributed Energy Systems. Now interested people can find a system that matches their price point and get choices appropriate to their needs easier.
All of this is because of the interactions we had this summer with welcoming and warm people who are excited to see what we offer.
Looking to the future I see us improving our social media, website, and getting our follow through and response time for interested people in line with their needs refined.
Thank you to everyone we met this year for guiding us to the right way to do solar power!
That’s a great question and the answer is in understanding what you want to do with the power first
If a tree fell in your neighborhood and took out the grid for a week in the middle of winter: what would you consider the right balance of necessity and luxury?
When you’re in the dark a light is everything. In this day and age of internet and phone, access is crucial; information is like another utility. How about a movie and charging your laptop while you’re at it?
To us, when you have nothing else, that is enough to maintain the comforts and essentials needed to feel at ease in even the harshest scenarios.
Enough power to keep going is all the power you need when you have no one to rely on but yourself. But, “enough power” as a rule is when the amount you have matches your needs and the needs of your objectives.
All these recent natural disasters and power outages have me thinking. Since I have been developing backup solar power systems right here in this neighborhood it would be a good place to start offering them.
I live in the Highland Park area and am available to make site visits and go over options. My systems are user-friendly, well-balanced, and expandable. I price them to be an out-of-pocket, one-time expense instead of requiring all the hassle of a loan.
If you are interested, feel free to text or call me at 585-353-5522. Please only share locally to Rochester, NY for now; my inventory is limited and I work on a made-to-order basis.