SUNNAN solar-powered lamps from IKEA are awesome (and support two great causes)

Started June 1, 2009, for every SUNNAN solar-powered lamp sold in IKEA stores worldwide, one lamp will be given to UNICEF to light up the life of a child.

The lamps are really awesome-looking, come in five great colors, and they work really well. We've put the solar thingy on a table near a window facing our (wooded, not very sunny) backyard, and it charged up and the light works great, as seen here. It has a good base on it, so it's freestanding in a number of positions. It's also lightweight and sturdy so it could be used as a flashlight. Best of all, it's good for the planet, and it helps kids in developing nations. Granted, this product contains a lot of petroleum products much like most things from IKEA, but it has no carbon footprint after it's made, and the company is about as socially responsible as they can be while still using a lot of petroleum products. The flat-pack boxes save energy to transport, they make sure not to use sweatshop or other exploitative types of labor, and most of their natural materials are renewable. I still think that the amount we consume and where it goes after we're done using it make a huge impact, and are things any of us can do even if IKEA is all we can afford in terms of when we do need to buy new things.

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