We can all contribute to the solutions to our planet’s problems!
The current warming climate is mostly the result of human activity since the 1950s, but we have the power to connect and, together, find solutions to climate challenges.
From September 12th to 14th, the Global Climate Action Summit takes place in San Francisco, bringing people together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level.” It will be an event to celebrate achievements in climate action as well as to accelerate national efforts – supported by all sectors of society – to thwart climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.
On this occasion, Little Sun friends and partners Rebecca Foon and Jessie Paris Smith will host another one of their amazing Pathway to Paris concerts, and Olafur and Little Sun will be there! (Read more about it here.)
What does Little Sun do to tackle climate change? How can a small solar lamp help the climate?
Since the launch of Little Sun in 2012, inspiring people to take climate action has been an important part of our mission. In recent years, especially since the Paris Agreement in 2016, climate change awareness and encouraging communities worldwide to take action has become an essential part of Little Sun’s work. Little Sun’s actions are for the whole planet:
Radically reducing CO2 emissions
Using kerosene for lighting releases 190 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Little Suns, as of December 2017, have reduced 134,572 tonnes of Co2, because people decided to use solar lamps instead of kerosene. Reducing carbon emissions also prevents millions of premature deaths worldwide through a decrease in air pollution.
Little Sun Foundation’s solar-education programs provide children with tools and knowledge that empower them to shape a sustainable future for themselves and for the planet. Teaching kids about solar and sustainability will translate into an acceleration of green policies, sustainability research, and innovative tech solutions in the future.
Raising awareness globally through art
“Art, I believe, has great potential for changing the way we discuss an issue as important as climate change. It makes something not only comprehensible for the mind but also physically tangible – turning thinking into doing.” – Olafur Eliasson
Little Sun is a work of art that works in life! Awareness-raising is an important part of developing community support for change. Little Sun uses the power of art to make abstract concepts like solar energy, energy access, and climate action tangible.
Sunlight Graffiti has been featured all over the world, from London (Tate Modern, 2012) to California (Coachella Festival, 2014) to Barcelona (Sónar Festival, 2016), putting the power of the sun in the palm of your hand and enabling you to make a unique work of art. The creative process of producing sunlight graffiti takes place in a dark room; making participants aware of what it means to not have light and electricity, as well as highlighting the power of the sun. It does this in a playful, creative way – a personal experience that is accessible to all.
Artist Olafur Eliasson has turned several audiences into artists by creating interactive artworks with participants in Sustainia 2013, Pathway to Paris 2017, and Design Indaba 2018. He led choreography that motioned the audience to hold up the Little Suns, resulting in a visually striking “solar-powered sunrise” and raising awareness for Sustainable Development Goal 7, affordable and clean energy.
Affordable clean energy
Little Suns are sold at a higher price in areas of the world with steady access to electricity so that our products can be sold in off-grid areas at locally affordable prices. One purchase provides 5 years of light! As of December 2017 this has saved users in Sub-Saharan Africa $35,531,865 on their energy expenses.
Little Sun creates jobs in sustainable energy
We strengthen communities from the inside by creating local jobs and generating local profits through our local partners and network of young African entrepreneurs. As of December 2017, 600+ African entrepreneurs had joined. By selling Little Suns in remote areas, these entrepreneurs become solar ambassadors and make a remarkable impact on the local economy. Sales agents spread the word about access to sustainable energy and improve livelihoods in rural areas – all while making extra income.
Inclusiveness. Empowering women entrepreneurs in promoting safe and sustainable lighting solutions
Women entrepreneurs play an essential role in democratizing and promoting safe and sustainable lighting solutions.
In Senegal since 2014 our entrepreneurs’ network – mostly women – has helped us selling more than 17,000 solar products across the country.
In Ethiopia, Little Sun and the company Solar Development are currently providing solar lamps for women along the micro-franchise model (a business model based on the traditional franchising concept common in developing countries), where women are engaged in the sales of the lamps in their communities to earn an off-farm income. This results in Solar Development and its partners providing training and job opportunities for 750 women in different parts of the country. Let’s facilitate change by empowering women!
Providing clean energy in humanitarian reliefs
Natural disasters displaced three times as many people as war in 2013. The number of people forced to flee their homes because of hurricanes, floods, and other natural hazards is on average 27 million a year, and this number keeps on rising.
By improving access to cleaner, renewable, sustainable lighting, we are also making refugee camps safer for the many families who live in them, especially for girls and women. Kerosene, candles, and disposable batteries are costly for refugees, while solar lamps create long-term and environmentally friendly independence.
The whole world is experiencing the effects of climate change, which threatens irreversible consequences. Therefore, governments, businesses, households, and individuals all need to take an active part in making a difference. Each small solution adds up to a big difference in the long run. We can all be climate activists, and we need to take action now!
Stay tuned – throughout the week, we are going to share with you some great ways of taking climate action. And if you want to do something right now, you can always:
Donate to our emergency relief program:
Buy a Little Sun (and provide one to a person living off-the-grid):
Carousel photo credits: Emma Hoejlund, Joshua Hammond, Eva Grommes, Maddalena Valeri, Little Sun, Little Sun.
Blog photo credits: Taylor Dover, The Davis Enterprise, Little Sun, Steven Sebring, Helen Zeru, Eva Grommes, Rikka Tupaz.