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Changers charger offers social solar, rewards

Solar charging kit not only powers up your gadget, it also tracks your energy production, shares your greenness with your friends, and gives you rewards.

Changers solar charger
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changers solar charger pays you back for being green.

You're using the power of the sun to charge your gadgets. That's kind of awesome. Why keep it to yourself? A new solar charging system from German startup Changers makes your eco-consciousness just as obvious as driving around in a Prius.

The actual charger ventures into familiar territory with a solar module and a battery. It can generate up to 4 watts per hour, enough to fill up the battery in four hours. It is designed to charge smartphones, tablets, and other small electronics.

Normally, a solar charging system would sit quietly by, laboring in silence. Not this one. It hooks up to your PC or Mac by USB, tracks your CO2 savings, and tells all your friends about it over Facebook and Twitter.

The device also tracks your energy production on and dishes out credits that can be spent with the company's retail partners. There's no word yet on who those partners are.

The $149 Changers Starter Kit is currently available for preorder, with deliveries starting up within a few weeks. Don't worry, the sun will still be waiting for you.