Indianapolis, IN (February 25, 2016) — IndyCar driver Stefan Wilson and the #ThinkSolar campaign team today announced a partnership with SolarAid to help offset Wilson’s racing carbon footprint through a unique social community, “Speed of Light”, that essentially pays solar forward to off-grid communities without access to electricity.
“A small solar light saves a family money, protects the environment, and enables children to study after dark. One solar light improves the lives of approximately six people, saving a family $180, enabling an extra 1200 hours of study, and averting one ton of CO2,” shared Tom Moore, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager for SolarAid. “We create new markets that transform communities and leave a lasting energy legacy.”
Other than seeking to solar power areas of his team such as the timing stand at the Indy 500 in May, Wilson’s partnership with SolarAid is another way the IndyCar driver can substitute more solar for fossil fuel-sourced energy. Through SolarAid’s Speed of Light social sharing platform, Wilson is leveraging his network to champion this cause through peer-to-peer connections that inspire people to donate solar lights. Upon donating, the platform shows supporters where the lights “landed” and where the impact of their giving is focused in Africa. All this activity gets attributed back to Stefan Wilson and #ThinkSolar, effectively offsetting the carbon emissions resulting from competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“There are many ways to offset your carbon footprint, but SolarAid’s method is so unique,” said Wilson. “It’s incredibly rewarding to know you’re not only offsetting your carbon footprint, but also lighting up the night for families in Africa. Each solar light replaces a kerosene lamp which would have emitted another ton of CO2 (2200 lbs) over the lifetime of the solar light.”
“LetsThinkSolar.com will be a place where IndyCar fans can learn more about solar energy and our partners.” said Wilson. “You can even join the #ThinkSolar team and be a part of the movement to replace kerosene in Africa, and with SolarAid’s help, the impact map will provide an immediate way to see the effect of each solar light.”
The carbon footprint for the #ThinkSolar team’s on-track activity in May—factoring calculations for the two biggest consumables, tires and fuel—is around 48,000lbs of CO2. For all 33 cars racing at the IMS, the footprint is 1,340,000 lbs of CO2. It will take 22 lights to offset the #ThinkSolar team, and 610 lights to offset all the cars’ on-track activity in May.
Those interested in helping to mitigate Wilson’s carbon footprint at the Indy 500 can donate to SolarAid by visiting the LetsThinkSolar.com website where they can be part of this solar solution and join Wilson’s virtual #ThinkSolar team.
#ThinkSolar is currently working with additional partner companies to allow Wilson to compete in the 100thRunning of the Indianapolis 500, just months away. Companies interested in supporting an acceleration in solar powering our lives both on and off the track should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Solar Aid
SolarAid is an international charity that believes in business-based solutions to poverty and climate change. In 2008, SolarAid created a social enterprise called SunnyMoney to run its on-the-ground operations in Africa.
SunnyMoney uses an innovative distribution model to sell solar lights in rural off-grid communities currently dependent on costly, toxic, kerosene for lighting. By building a sustainable market for solar products SolarAid and SunnyMoney aim to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020.