An Unexpected Benefit of Portable Solar

As I’ve mentioned several times on Frugal Accomplishments posts, my husband and I received Goal Zero solar panels for Christmas from my folks. These nifty little portable solar panels, called the Nomad 7, are meant to be small and lightweight so you can tuck them into a pack for outdoor activities. Each of our Nomad 7’s fold up to be the size of a tablet device and they are meant to charge small devices like cell phones, tablets, and the like. While we’re very, very happy with how the Nomad 7 chargers work out for us, we’ve noticed something: they do not charge a smart phone with any speed. Want to use the “fast charge” setting on your device? Better plug it into the wall. Depending on how low our batteries are, it could take several hours to charge our phones, even in direct sunlight.

But you know what I’ve found? That’s actually a good thing. In fact, I’d even go so far as to channel my inner Martha Stewart and say it’s a “Good Thing”. After all, when I want to charge my phone with my adorable Goal Zero solar panel, I set everything up on a lawn chair on the porch and then I go back in the house. Call me crazy, but Arizona sunshine is brutal, and I’d rather not sit outside and fry my brain for several hours while waiting for a phone. Plus I, like you, have better things to do with my time – so back indoors I go. And get this: while I’m inside, I can’t hear any text notifications. I can’t hear the phone ring. I’m not willing to sit out there at length to check emails, putter around on social media, or do anything else on the phone. Granted I could head in and get on the computer, and sometimes I do. Most of the time, though, I realize it’s so delicious to not be doing anything online that I don’t crack open ye olde laptope.

So I am semi-forcibly unplugged. For anywhere between one and four hours. It’s pretty cool beans.

Y’all, people pay big bucks to have someone take away their phones for retreats – to unplug and get away from all the yammering and jabbering we hear and see online. Thanks to my new little gadget, I can unplug both from the grid and from the busy-ness of the world. Rather unexpected, but certainly a benefit I’m going to keep enjoying with this thing. I’d suggest looking into it – no matter what brand you choose, you, too, can suddenly find yourself with not only a way to be more prepared, lower your utility bills a bit, and sneak in some time to focus on a project or just go relax. You might even find yourself muting the phone so you absolutely don’t know if anyone calls. Just a thought!