Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Two green thumbs up for the THRIVE Solar Lantern

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this review.

If you've been following GG for long, you know that there are a variety of factors that are necessary in order for me to give a product or company two green thumbs up. 
  • Effectiveness. Obviously it has to do what it claims to do.
  • Safety. I don't care how effective something is... if it's not safe to use, I'm not recommending it. Period.
  • Affordability. Of course, this is subjective. But generally speaking, the products I recommend are affordable for the average consumer.
  • Environmental impact. Does the company focus on sustainability?
  • Fairly traded/ethical. The fair treatment of humans and animals is a factor.
  • Socially conscious. I love products that "give back."
On this particular Review It Wednesday, I want to introduce you to a product that exemplifies all of the above.

THRIVE Solar Lanterns are solar-powered flashlights that are manufactured in developing countries like India, Kenya, and Ghana. Each purchase supports villagers in these countries. As a matter of fact, the THRIVE Solar Lantern received a World Bank and IFC Award for innovations towards the eradication of poverty.

I was sent a THRIVE Solar Lantern to review and I must say I really like it. Of course, there hasn't been a lot of sun in Western PA the past couple of months, but it doesn't take much to charge this lantern. And once charged, it is BRIGHT. I didn't expect so much light to emerge from this small (15cm x 7.5cm) lantern/flashlight. It's small enough to slip into your purse, backpack, jacket pocket, etc., and is designed to be easily suspended from a hook for hands-free lighting. It is surprisingly lighter than most standard flashlights because it doesn't have any heavy C batteries inside. It harnesses its power directly from the sun through its built-in 0.5 watt solar panel. The back panel is made from recycled plastics (bonus points!).

I have my THRIVE Solar Lantern positioned on my window, so it can absorb the morning sun, which means it's continuously charged.

They recommend you lay the lantern down outside to charge. But what if it rains? No problem. It is water-resistant, which leads us to another great feature -- you can use the lantern during rainstorms and not worry about it getting wet.

The lantern uses the best LED lights on the market. It is made with a Japanes Nichia LED light-chip, which produces the best white light available and offers two modes of brightness. The brightest mode will stay lit for five hours after a full charge and the normal mode will give you eight hours. That's perfect for those nights when the power goes out.

While these lanterns tend to be sold for camping or for emergency kits, I like having one readily available for those occasional power outages. And not having to scrounge around for batteries is just an added bonus.

And it is surprisingly affordable. At less than $15, you can order one from Amazon by clicking here.

And if you want to know more about the company that's behind the THRIVE Solar Lantern, check out this article that was featured in Borgen Magazine this past November. Here is an excerpt:

THRIVE’s Community Empowerment Business Model takes it one step further. The manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh in the southeastern coast of India employs 320 people, 260 of which are women. In many developing countries, it is an important poverty eradication strategy to empower women with employment as the benefits of it will act as a multiplier-effect on to their children and families. And to top it all off, the factory is also run entirely on solar energy.
Kakalia said that overall, the company aims to manufacture in the places where it needs its products the most. So while most solar lighting companies still source everything from China, THRIVE believes in manufacturing in multiple countries.
Additionally, Kakalia said that THRIVE Solar Energy does not practice “sell and forget.” Its Community Empowerment Business Model engages a “before sales” and “after sales” service: locals are hired to educate prospective customers about solar technology and the benefits of the solar products. After the sale, customers are supported with warranties and access to after sales service support. This in turn has provided employment of local village representatives. As THRIVE’s brand name and reputation grows, so do the sales of its larger and more expensive solar power systems, thus making it a sustainable business.
Whereas most businesses find the middle class to be more lucrative to deal with than the base of the pyramid, THRIVE has not lost its original sight for serving the poor. Kakalia stated that THRIVE stays as profitable as needed to make sure its products stay affordable for the base of the pyramid. Additionally, THRIVE has formed a One Child One Light campaign with the help of a number of sponsors and partnerships such as The World Bank, International Paper (India), Oxfam, Sonata Software, Save the Children and Compassion International. Today, 650,000 school children have received THRIVE’s higher quality solar study light. THRIVE is currently supplying one million of its solar study lights to students with the help of IIT Bombay across rural India.

The above is just one more reason to love THRIVE. And I can honestly say, there really isn't anything I don't like about the lantern. Which is why the Thrive Solar Lantern gets two green thumbs up from Green Grandma! 

Visit THRIVE on FB.

The fine folks at Cosa AutoSuficientes would like to give away a THRIVE Solar Lantern to one lucky reader of this post. Just enter below to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Amusing product of science. Thank green grandma for highlighting it.


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