Share the Sun, Transform a Community

Camping typically involves “roughing it” in the great outdoors, but there is a new player on the market – Barebones – which offers a recreational camping experience fully equipped with electronics, lights and appliances. On the surface, the idea seems to deviate quite far from “real” camping, but the concept is actually quite useful when it comes to humanitarian and emergency response efforts.

Barebones is the sister organization of Goal Zero, an alternative energy organization that envisions “an empowered world in which everyone will have access to abundant, clean and modern energy.” Barebones provides portable shelters and accessories while Goal Zero builds solar-based energy solutions and initiatives that provide portable access to energy.

Entrepreneur, Robert Workman, created the first Goal Zero prototype after spending time working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Upon witnessing the devastating effects that war and political instability had on the nation — where most areas did not even have access to electrical power — he was inspired to change the world around him.

Workman first established the Utah-based humanitarian organization Teaching Individuals and Families Independence through Enterprise (TIFIE), which is “dedicated to fostering economic development by establishing sustainable business enterprises that produce goods and services and create lasting jobs.”

The organization helped establish agricultural development farms, medical initiatives, construction and transportation services throughout Africa — all of which illustrates their goal of helping people become self-sufficient and prosperous.

Through his work with TIFIE, Workman saw a need for renewable power and established Goal Zero to offer solutions to this problem. Goal Zero creates unique portable solar power systems that can be used in even the most remote areas, with a portion of the proceeds from all purchases donated to TIFIE.

In addition to its product development, Goal Zero established the “Share the Sun” initiative, which allows buyers to use “sun shares” they accumulate from purchased Goal Zero products to donate to a project of their choice.

They offer a simple three-step process: (1) buy power, (2) share power and (3) follow the impact.

Once a buyer donates their sun shares, they can track the progress of the project while staying connected through social media updates. The Share the Sun initiative appeals to buyers by asking, “We all live under the same sun, but we don’t all have the same opportunity to use it. So if you could, wouldn’t you share it?”

Rifk Ebeid

Sources: 174 Solar, Gizmag, Goal Zero, Tifie
Photo: Barebones Living