Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle may seem daunting at first, but it is actually relatively easy to do. Sure, it would be great if everyone set up a personal power turbine at home or swapped out their gasoline cars for a fully electric one, but it is in fact the smaller changes that matter the most in the long run.

Not many people are aware, but one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and to save energy overall is by going solar.
Of course, not every home is suitable for hosting solar panels (especially in Japan, where a large portion of housing is rented) but nothing is to stop someone from purchasing and utilising solar lighting.

Ok, so solar lights won’t be able to charge up your Nintendo Switch, or keep your AC running throughout the summer, but as a renewable technology they can add sustainability and style to your home whilst helping you save a little bit of pocket money.

These days solar lights are available at almost any furniture or home improvement store. If you head over to the gardening section, you can even pick up some solar porch lights from DAISO.
These lights are great if you want to spruce up your balcony or your porchway (and your garden if you’ve actually got one of those). But with their lack of portability, they can only really do their job at home – and of course, that’s where they stay.

So let's say you’re out on an adventure this summer, perhaps camping out in the heart of Japan, and you’re looking for a way to bring sustainable lighting with you so that you don’t have to rely on your mediocre fire-lighting skills (sorry if you’re actually good at bushcraft, for me starting a fire is a real hit-and-miss half of the time). That’s where the all new SHINING WATER BAG from outdoors brand NEW MAGIC WAND will come in handy.

Not simply an everyday solar light, the SHINING WATER BAG is actually a 3-in-1 system that is perfect for the sustainable camper – filling your evenings with illumination, acting as a waterproof storage bag during bad weather and keeping your phone fully charged throughout your trip.

The ability to charge with sunlight makes the SHINING WATER BAG a great item for camping trips, as well as a useful tool to have on hand during a natural disaster. Of course, when planning for the former situation you can charge up the light by USB.

The bag itself has a waterproof rating of IP66, and can be used as a storage bag for valuables if traversing waterways or in the case of a sudden rain downpour.
For those looking to use the SHINING WATER BAG as a portable battery, an adapter cable is included so that it can be used for any smartphone.

The light comes with four different settings; Sleep, LOW, HIGH and Flash. Illumination can also be intensified by filling the bag up with water (its waterproofing works inside too, so you don’t need to worry about damaging the solar light), as the distortion caused by the water particles bending and refracting the light.

  • When in Sleep mode, SHINING WATER BAG emits 15 lumens and can run continuously for 120 hours without the need for recharging. This low-light mode is recommended for use during bedtime.
  • LOW mode utilises 40 lumens and is the perfect setting for standard lighting in everyday situations. SHINING WATER BAG can last for 8 hours in LOW mode until it needs to be recharged.
  • If you need a brighter light for cooking or work situations, then HIGH mode can provide 90 lumens and run continuously for 4 hours.
  • The SHINING WATER BAG is also equipped for emergency situations and comes with a Flash mode that emits an SOS code at 90 lumens. This emergency flash can last for 6 hours without the need to charge.

The SHINING WATER BAG is currently undergoing crowdfunding, and, if completed, will be shipped out from the beginning of July.

SHINING WATER BAG specifications

Price: 3,980 yen (plus shipping fee of 800 yen)

Capacity: 3 Litres
Material: PVC
Weight: 138g (without water)
Battery: 3.7V / 1000mAH
Solar Panel: 5V / 120mAH
USB charging time: 1 hour
Solar charging time: 8 – 12 hours (dependant on weather situation)

By - Connie Sceaphierde.