YOLK, the solar company known for its million-dollar-selling Solar Paper on Kickstarter, has created a collection of solar powered products that look like cheese in a bid to stop child labor by raising funds for children in East Africa. “The SunMade Cheese project is more about enjoying the solar power and promoting education for solar technology, but the Solar Cow is really a lifeline for people. They are two projects for two different perspectives, but combined in one initiative,” said YOLK CEO Sen.
The cheese plate that serves SunMade Cheese’s base is a gently curving oval. Transforming it from a decorative plate into a high-tech solar panel is as simple as flipping it over. The panel can generate 5 volts at 1.2 amps — enough power to charge a smartphone at the same speed as a conventional wall charger.
The top-side, opposite the solar panel, features a non-detachable piece of brie cheese, the USBrie, equipped with a USB port and a customized power bank connector. The milk bottle power bank, the Solar Milk, directly connects to a port inside the brie cheese and doubles as an adjustable tilt stand.
Connection holes allow SunMade Cheese to attach to a window or messenger bag. SunMade Cheese is more than just a solar panel. It hosts a potpourri of realistic cheeses designed to practically and easily incorporate solar power into our everyday lives.
These highly cultured accessories include:
● Swiss Note Speaker: Perfectly disguised as a block of swiss, the Bluetooth Swiss Note speaker’s volume control and radio seek buttons are embedded within the eyes. Insert the powerbank into the speaker or attach an optional solar panel or a hand crank to start the dance party.
● Ricotta Torch: With the texture and appearance of ricotta salata, this cheese module transforms into a traditional flashlight or lantern. Smart sensors detect when the torch is set down on its rim and automatically switch the light to diffuse softly up through the handle.
● Caciocavallo Kindler: This version of caciocavallo – an Italian delicacy – provides futuristic flames as a plasma lighter. Plasma lighters are 100% sustainable, wind-proof, odorless, flameless, and 100% rechargeable, so the Caciocavallo Kindler never needs lighter fuel and never blows out.
● Solar Milk Power Bank: The cheese plate collects energy from the sun and stores it in the semi-translucent Milk Bottle Power Bank. The power bank can store up to 2900mAh of power, enough to fully charge an iPhone 8 Plus or power the Ricotta Torch for up to 12 hours. It features an on-off switch that prevents it from leaking energy when not in use.
One of YOLK’s core values is “Solar for Everyone”. In line with that philosophy, the team prepared for this project by delivering and installing a Solar Cow at a primary school in Pokot, Kenya and gave power banks that can be charged from the Solar cow to the students.
In Sub-Saharan Africa child labor prevents one in five children from attending school. That’s twice the global average. The Solar Cow is devised as a way to reward children for going to school and their parents for sending them. When kids arrive at school in the morning they just attach their batteries where the cow’s udders would be. At the end of the school day they can leave with a full supply of valuable electricity. YOLK is pleased to announce that, for every SunMade Cheese pledge, they will donate 1 Solar Milk Power Bank to a child in East Africa.
SunMade Cheese is available now on Kickstarter starting at $35 USD.