Recently I completed the second higher education degree of my life with a focus on Graphic Design. I love "Branding" with a capital "B". I love logos, word marks, illustrations, packaging, drink cups, magazines, pamphlets, and on and on. Take a look at this photo…
I've collected these recently from various local establishments that I frequent and love. Don't worry, they've been washed and cleaned. Lest you think I'm a hoarder, and I worry about that myself sometimes, I should explain that I, mostly, save only one iconic item from each place. In a sense it is my gallery of branding. They are also what collectors would call ephemera, things which are easily destroyed and are difficult to preserve. They are also things many people use on a daily basis only once and then throw into the trash.
The problem is that most people don't have the love, or shelf space that I do, for these objects of popular culture — and I do see them as that. The majority of people see these things, once used, simply as trash. And for the most part that is in truth what they are, trash to be disposed of. But where does that trash go? Most often to the town dump, but not always.
I'm sure most of us have pulled a flashlight or other device out of a drawer, turned the On switch, found that it wasn't working, and opened up the battery compartment only to find that the batteries have leaked some kind of hazardous goo and ruined the device permanently. Usually those useless batteries have to go into a glass or plastic container to be disposed of somewhere, usually the town dump. But where does that trash go? My town dump says that alkaline batteries just go in general household trash whereas lithium ones I'm supposed to give to the attendant.
When I was young my father asked me what I would like as a high school graduation present. For whatever reason I asked for a pocket watch. You know, the kind that are on a chain where you click open the cover to check the time. My father took me to a local jewelry store and I picked one out that I liked and we got it engraved with my initial on the front. It is the type of watch where you manually wind it every day to keep it working. I still have that watch and it still works just fine.
I don't use the pocket watch every day and I don't wind it every day so it always stops ticking. But I know that I can always use it if I want to, set the time, wind it up, and have something that will tell the time without needing any batteries.
If you're like me you like the idea of devices that can be used almost indefinitely, until they breakdown of course, and take a minimum of maintenance and upkeep. Something you can take out of a drawer and be confident that it still works and can be recharged or re-powered in some way if necessary. Something that can be powered with a minimum of fuss without having to go out and buy a set of batteries. And something that reduces the amount of resources that we as human beings use. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The three R's of the green revolution.
SolarWind Emporium arose out of my interest in solar powered, rechargeable, and mechanical or movement powered devices and all things related to that. Products that don't need a constant diet of disposable batteries. Products that are especially powered by the sun. Products that you can buy once and reuse for their intended purpose for as long as you need to. Products that don't require endless use of limited resources in order to provide something that has a one-time use.
Below is sort of my pocket watch 2.0…
We sell the above wrist watch here on SolarWind Emporium, at least as long as we have them in stock. It's called an Automatic watch and does not contain or use batteries. You wind the knob every now and then and the movement of your arm or hand keeps the spring inside tight, which powers the watch. For details on this type of watch there is a great WikiHow article on How to Wind an Automatic Watch.
Here at SolarWind Emporium we will be looking for those kinds of products to bring to our customers. Of course we hope to provide well made, quality products so let us know if you find any issues. Please come back and visit us from time to time and see what we have to offer. Thanks for Visiting!