Solar Tribune

2021 Guide for Solar-Inspired Holiday Gifts


The holiday season is now upon us and that means that it is time for those holiday traditions new and old that make this time of year so special. Here at Solar Tribune, we have our own holiday tradition of putting out a solar-inspired gift buying guide to help make the tradition of gift giving a bit more sustainable this holiday season.

Assuming that a brand new Tesla vehicle or solar roof is outside your gift buying budget, we hope that the below suggestions help spark an idea about how a solar-inspired gift can bring joy to the loved one in your life.

Solar-Powered Portable Power Stations

These are definitely among the priciest solar-powered items you could gift to someone this holiday season, but they are also among the most important for those who have mobile energy needs or who rely on 24/7 energy reliability at home.

Gas-powered generators are incredibly polluting, and if used improperly, incredibly dangerous. One 5 kW generator can emit as much carbon monoxide as approximately 450 idling cars (!!!). According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 900 people died of carbon monoxide poisoning from portable gas generators between 2005 and 2017, with another 15,400 having to be treated in the emergency room for portable generator-related carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jackery Solar Generator 500 + 100W Panels – $ 799.98

This solar generator combo from Jackery combines a portable power station with a portable, lightweight 100W SolarSaga solar panel to power your energy needs. The power station can recharge via one of 3 ways: wall outlet, car outlet, or the solar panels. We are certainly partial to the latter option. This product is great for your next camping adventure, football tailgating party, or just to have handy as a backup for a bad thunderstorm or ice storm that knocks your power out for an extended amount of time.

Check out this solar generator review on Popular Mechanics for a more detailed overview of options to consider when buying a solar generator.

BioLite SolarHome 620+ Lights, Charger and Radio – $112.46


This all-in-one system uses a 6W solar panel to charge up a portable central unit that in turn powers 3 hanging lights, an MP3/FM radio, and USB charge-out. The three hanging lights come with their own individual light switches allowing them to be used independently in 3 separate rooms. The setup is ideal for tiny house living, cabins, sheds, or hunting structures.

Purchasing of this product also supports a great mission. BioLite is a company that is committed to bringing affordable, small scale renewable energy solutions to poverty-stricken populations in undeveloped countries. This product and other BioLite products have benefited over 3.2 million people across Africa and Asia.

Solar-Powered Educational Toys for Kids

Educational toys that incorporate STEM principles are a growing niche market in the toy industry. These hands-on experiential learning devices help children develop critical problem-solving skills that will serve them well in life, especially if a STEM career field is in their future.

4M Green Science Solar Rover DIY Kit – $19.98

How cool is this lil’ thing? It’s like a mini-Mars rover. This toy uses a rudimentary solar panel and some basic wiring to propel a vehicle using either the provided vehicle body or a soda can. This toy teaches kids the basics about solar power capabilities, while also reinforcing the good habit of re-using disposable household items. Speaking of which…

Eco.6 Solar Recycler Robot Kit – $16.99

This toy also encourages kids to put old disposables to good use in a fun and creative way. This solar robot can be adapted to 6 different functions: Street Roller, Walking Robot, Bottle Yacht, Drummer Robot, Flying Bird, or CD Racer. Soda cans, water bottles, and old CDs are the starring subjects of this solar kit that teaches kids about the value of re-using items otherwise destined for a landfill.

Pica Toys Remote Control Solar Car Kit – $21.58

Remote control cars have been an age-old reliable holiday gift for generations. This solar-powered option allows slightly older kids (8-12 year olds) to build one from scratch and learn the basics about electrical engineering in the process. This gift may be especially relevant to young kids growing up right now since electrification, batteries, and solar energy will all transform personal transportation during the lives of today’s youth.

Check out this review of STEM-focused solar toys at STEM Geek for more ideas on what to gift the young budding solar enthusiast in your life.

Solar-Powered Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Solar-powered knickknacks and outdoor recreation go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. Below are a few such gifts for the outdoorsy person in your life.

Solar Powered Bike Light and Horn Set – $23.99

This solar-powered light kit is an important safety feature for expert and novice bike riders alike, especially with hours of daylight dwindling as we enter the winter months. This apparatus includes both a bright 350 lumens headlight and a taillight with multiple lighting modes. The kicker is the small but mighty (140 dB) horn that comes with the kit to add another important layer of safety.

Solar Spark Lighter Fire Starter – $5.99

A little old school and a little new school, this solar-powered spark lighter is the perfect stocking stuffer for the backpacker in your life. The simple invention uses a parabolic shaped container to concentrate an intense amount of heat from the sun onto a piece of material held into place by a prong in the middle of the device. I’m glad I didn’t have access to one of these as a mischievous 10-year-old.

Chill Solar Cooler – $649


I’ve lugged around some coolers in my day and I can tell you that the weight of the ice packed cooler and the pain of having to drain the melted ice from a small drain plug at the end of your outing are two annoyances that I could do without. This innovative cooler solution by GoSun solves both problems by getting rid of the ice altogether. Using brushless compressors, solar power, and a lithium battery for storage, the cooler is able to act as a bona fide freezer if you need it to with the ability to cool down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler can be powered by a regular wall outlet, via a 30W folding solar panel, or even better, a 60W ‘solar table’ that integrates a panel into a folding table.

It is great to see solar energy becoming so ubiquitous these days that it is integrated into many common household items. Hopefully you can find space on your holiday shopping list to gift such an item to a loved one in your life.

We at Solar Tribune wish you and yours a very joyous and safe holiday season this year!


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