Published on October 31st, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

Small Business Turns Phone Boxes Green

A pair of environmentally conscious entrepreneurs has begun to turn the streets of London green, not with envy, but with solar powered phone boxes! Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenney have created Solarbox, a new company which is converting disused London phone boxes into solar powered smartphone charging points.

Craston and Kenney are recent graduates of the London School of Economics and Solarbox was born when they entered the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition. They were runners up in that contest and received £5,000 funding to give the project the ‘green’ light.

The project includes making over the iconic red phone boxes by painting them green and fitting them with an 86cm solar panel on their roof. The interior received a significant overhaul too; the plain white interior includes stations for charging multiple types of mobile phone and a screen which shows advertisements.

The Solarbox provides a carbon neutral source of energy for a multitude of devices including mobile phones, cameras and tablets. They are completely free to use as they are funded by paid the companies who show their adverts whilst waiting for a device to charge; although 30% of advertising space has been reserved to boost community projects.

Now, down to the good stuff; charging a phone! A Solarbox is capable of charging up to 100 phones per day and provides a 20% increase in battery power after just 10 minutes of charging. According to the founders, around six people per hour use the booth.

Currently there is only one Solarbox available for the public to use and it is situated on Tottenham Court Road in the capital. However there are plans to introduce five more to London’s streets in the near future.

As technology continues to advance, smartphones are increasingly more important to the public. With this increase of mobile and smartphone usage, the issue of running out of battery at a crucial time hounds us all; making these green beacons of hope a great idea indeed!

Here at the Post Office Shop, we understand that not everyone can go to London to charge their device, this is why we have a portable USB charger available to purchase that will be available whenever it is required.

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