The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
A Denver, CO firm began selling two solar LED lights this week, including one for $6 that the company believes is the most affordable in the world.
Nokero announced the addition of the N180-Start and N222 models to its line of solar lights. Both are small and ideal for desktop use or camping, but Nokero, which is short for "no kerosene," envisions the products impacting society in a much larger fashion.
“I’ve met people in Africa and Asia who walk for miles to spend significant income on kerosene fuel for light,” said Nokero CEO Steve Katsaros, who founded the company as a social enterprise in 2010. “Prices fluctuate wildly, and are often controlled by cabal, so people don’t know what the kerosene will cost. They also know it’s dangerous and even deadly to burn this dirty fuel in their house, but they don’t think they have another option.”
Kerosene fires kill more than 1 million people each year, according to the International Energy Agency. Katsaros said the company designed the $6 N180-Start for those who make less than $5 a day and rely on kerosene as a light source.
About 20 percent of the world lives without electricity, Nokero estimates.
One solar lantern could replace 600 liters of kerosene and cut 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a decade, according to a Cleantechnica review of the products.
"The challenge was to bring the price down without sacrificing quality,” Nokero Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Cox said.
The lights come with rechargeable batteries and clips that make it easy to hang them outside. An internal solar panel charges the battery. The power stored in the lithium iron phosphate battery in the N222, can provide up to 50 lumens, the units used to measure the amount of light emitted by a source.
Both models come with rings that can be placed over the lights to waterproof the devices. At $45, the N222 comes with three lenses and USB ports that use transferred power to charge smartphones. The more expensive model also includes an AC charging option if the sun is not bright enough.
"The product will be life changing for millions of impoverished people who rely on burning dangerous and polluting fuels, such as kerosene, for light," the company wrote in a statement. "When Nokero introduced its first solar light bulb in 2010, it provided the best option yet for people throughout the world who relied on kerosene fuel for lighting. The company has since transformed millions of lives through its revolutionary technology."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?
For the past seven years, the Anishinaabe people have been facing the largest tar sands pipeline project in North America. We still are. In these dying moments of the fossil fuel industry, Water Protectors stand, prepared for yet another battle for the water, wild rice and future of all. We face Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in North America, and the third largest corporation in Canada. We face it unafraid and eyes wide open, for indeed we see the future.
By Mara Dolan
We see the effects of the climate crisis all around us in hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels, but our proximity to these things, and how deeply our lives are changed by them, are not the same for everyone. Frontline groups have been leading the fight for environmental and climate justice for centuries and understand the critical connections between the climate crisis and racial justice, economic justice, migrant justice, and gender justice. Our personal experiences with climate change are shaped by our experiences with race, gender, and class, as the climate crisis often intensifies these systems of oppression.