Although when we think of solar we generally think of houses and businesses operating their electricity on a solar power system, there are a number of other uses for solar technology. We found 5 innovative uses:

1. Solar Bags

Solar panels attaching to backpacks, laptop bags and cases are becoming more popular as we embrace renewal energy. Available from a variety of sources, most solar bags on the market have your usual handy bag options, such as laptop sleeves and comfort straps, with the added bonus of clean green power on the go! Charge your phone, camera or laptop on your daily commute.

2. Solar Glass

New innovative ways to increase the efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings include solar glass. Still in the concept stages, the glass will appear transparent (like regular glass) only be able to capture UV light and convert it into electricity. Transparent solar panels such as these are still in development, but be prepared to see them in the not too distant future!

3. Solar Powered Recycling and Garbage Compactors

Already being implemented in the US, Solar powered garbage bins are being used in cities such as Philadelphia, New York and Chicago to compact rubbish in order to reduce collections and litter. They hold approximately 5 times the usual amount, and the idea is catching on over more of the US. Hopefully this spreads to other places in the world soon!

4. Solar Planes

Reducing carbon emissions and use of fossil fuels are priorities when going green, and one privately funded project in Switzerland has managed to circumnavigate the globe in a single seat monoplane only using solar technology. The concept is still in development, and the project was not without issues, but this is just another example of solars wide range of uses!

5. Phone Chargers

With relying on smart phones more and more these days, battery life is an issue. Rather than carrying around a spare battery pack, or worse, having your phone go flat, there are now solar phone chargers available. These devices just need to be in the sun, and a charge cable connected to your phone. There are a variety available including clip on types for backpacks, and window attachments.