Have you ever wanted to head to the playground or out on a hike or to the beach but waited because your phone was about to die and you were expecting a really important phone call? This charger looks like it’d make it a lot easier to recharge while YOU recharge.
If we sponsored and shared every worthy Kickstarter we stumbled across, we’d have to rename ourselves The Stoneham Review of Interesting, Worthy, and Potentially Very Lucrative Brainstorms and Beyond because there are a lot of brilliant and innovative ideas out there. But this one for the portable Granola Strolla solar charger caught our eyes. Why? It shares our mission on multiple levels:
- most practical when getting outdoors, enjoying nature
- environmentally friendly
- while it isn’t geared towards use by small kids, it is more kid-friendly/kid-safe than many solar chargers out there (more on this later)
- calls on our love of all that is science geeky
- it is a small family business with local ties
Here’s the link to the actual Kickstarter to support it: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/granolastrolla/granola-strolla-portable-solar-usb-charger
When I first heard about this, I thought, “Well, it is a nice concept, but there are other portable solar charges on the market. How is this one different?” Not that any idea is truly unique. For instance, when I was a kid I thought a glow-in-the-dark toilet seat would be the answer to all the inconveniences of sharing a bathroom with my kid brother. I was sure I’d be rich and be invited on 3-2-1-Contact or something. It wasn’t a week later, I saw they were already on the market. Foiled! So things have got to stand out and be different somehow. And this one definitely does, in our opinion. And I daresay it took a lot more thought and engineering than my midnight inspiration. So I think this one’s got a great shot! How Granola Strolla stands out:
- they are taking the lead by putting a more eco-friendly Lithium Iron Phosphate battery in it, in addition to a recycled casing. Their promotional items, rewards, and “swag bags” are natural crafts from local artisans, as well.
- It’s multi-directional. This makes it easier to charge with more surface area on multiple sides, and it is also set up to loop easily onto your bag, strollers, or other accessories. No unfolding or set-up with this one.
- Its casing makes it more durable and hardier than many solar chargers already on the market. And it is water-resistant!
- It is more lightweight than some. This is especially important when carting around the kids and all their stuff. Or for backpacking!
- It is more affordable than much of the competition and will be manufactured in the U.S. to create jobs.
The sturdiness is a big one for me. Confession time! I don’t even have a smartphone yet. I use mine for calls and texts only. I can sometimes go five days on one phone charge whereas some of my friends make only five hours. (Less worry with Granola Strolla!) But as most of you know, we’re running off camping constantly. Usually there is no electrical source to be found! It can still be good to have a phone or GPS in case of an emergency, or an e-reader if you read as much as we do. It sounds like this would be a great addition to our camping checklist.
Irene and Ben reside in the Memphis area with their two little boys and their dog and cat but lived in Boston for a while and still have ties and connections here. They are crafty, creative, and interested in environmental issues. You can direct questions to their website and also check out the Facebook feed or Twitter @granolastrolla. Irene also has a business doing custom sewn and knit designs at Tea With Frodo Designs (which has a giveaway going on this week!).
They are off to a great start, and are already 15% to their goal not even three days in. (It was very cute when they rewarded themselves with Toblerone–a Granola Strolla shaped treat–for meeting their first micro-goal.) I think they’ve got a great chance and an exciting idea that fills a niche. Support them, or consider sharing if you’re unable at this time but still intrigued. It’ll be exciting to see this continue to develop!