Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Travel Tips
Portable Solar Charges A Bright Idea
Green-On-The-Go: Pocket-Sized Gadgets Use Sunlight To Power Devices

For those always on-the-go, keeping electronic devices like cell phones, PDAs, iPods, gaming systems, cameras and even laptops charged can be a challenge. “Although car and other portable charging solutions abound, many people often find themselves away from an electricity source, unable to power their devices,” notes Paul Holstein of – an eTailer offering a myriad of eco-friendly electronics. “There are many budget-friendly portable charging devices on the market that harness the power of the sun – a free and totally clean energy source,” Holstein says. “These mobile solar chargers also reduce the need for multiple chargers or adapters for each piece of equipment requiring power.”

Here are a few representative portable solar charging devices offers to help consumers to go green, without having to spend a lot of green:

JuiceBar Solar Charger
The JuiceBar Solar Charger ($40.21) enables you to charge several different devices using light, without having to tote around a variety of AC adapters and cords. This compact device is equipped with solar cells that begin to charge immediately upon contact with light. Includes 12 of the most commonly used adapters for cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, portable gaming systems, and more. More info and to buy:

PowerMonkey-eXplorer AC/Solar Charger

Recharge your iPod player, GPS unit, cell phone or PDA any of three ways with the PowerMonkey-eXplorer ($149.21). It includes a solar cell that can completely charge a cell phone with only 6 hours of sunlight, or itcan be plugged into the wall in any of 150 countries, thanks to the four AC adapter tips it comes with. It can also be charged from your computer with the included USB adapter. The PowerMonkey holds enough juice for 40 hours of iPod time or 96 hours of cell phone talk time. Includes 10 device adapter tips, AC adapter, 4 AC adapter tips and carry pouch. More info and to buy:

Universal Solar Battery Charger
You already use rechargeable batteries to help reduce battery waste in landfills. Now go even greener by recharging your batteries with the sun using the Universal Solar Battery Charger ($22.43), which accepts D, C, AA and AAA-size batteries in pairs. Its needle meter displays the strength of the sunlight hitting the solar cell and gives you an estimate of the charging time for different battery types, based on that measurement. Charger also accepts Gum (Prismatic) batteries. Batteries not included. More info and to buy:

XPower™ Solar Portable PowerPack
Perfect for camping trips, road trips, tailgating or power outage emergencies, this XPower Solar Portable Power Pack ($193.49) is lighter, quieter and, most importantly, greener than any generator out there. A removable solar panel soaks up the sun’s energy, providing up to 400 watts of power for everything from laptops and cell phone chargers to blenders and small TVs. More info and to buy:

Consumers may order these and other “green gadgets” online at or via toll-free telephone at (866) 222-0030.