Anna Shinoda

Solar. Energy. Is. Awesome.

In February of 2009 Mike and I made the decision to put these beauties on our roof.

I’m not going to pretend that these panels are able to generate all the electricity that we need – Mike and I both have home offices and his includes many things with lights and knobs and wires that need electricity. Lots and lots of it. But the solar panels make a huge dent in providing us with sustainable, clean energy, and keeps us from needing less power generated primarily by coal, natural gas and nuclear.

While the solar panels on our roof are providing my family with the electricity to run things that are important for our comfort and creativity, donations made to Power the World provide sustainable energy that is life-saving and life-changing. The Solar Suitcase brings light to health clinics where the difference between light and dark can literally mean the difference of life and death for mothers giving birth at night. Over 1,500 families in Haiti have been given solar powered lights that safely light the way for families at night, and give children the ability to study after dark without the risk of respiratory issues from breathing sooty smoke from kerosene and candles.

Music for Relief is premiering a new video cut to Linkin Park’s POWERLESS at as part of the first #GivingTuesday. The video gives a glimpse of what life is like for those living without electricity and how their lives can be (and have been) improved with simple, clean energy like solar lights.

Speaking of Giving Tuesday, I’m excited about the potential it has to put the emphasis from what we can buy to ways we can give. As easy as it is to get swept up in the idea of finding the perfect gift, I try to keep in mind that the best gifts I have received are donations that friends give in my name to their favorite charity. No need for returns or exchanges: unique and beautiful, it is a gift that always fits me just right… and one that has exposed me to many wonderful charities that I otherwise would not have known existed. If you are looking for a place to make a donation as a holiday gift, please consider Power The World or choose one of your favorites (use the comments section to tell me about them – whether they are grassroots or worldwide- I’d love to hear about them!) And on this first Giving Tuesday, if you can’t afford to give a monetary donation, consider giving your time or talents. In the US, is a great place to find projects and causes looking for volunteers.

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15 thoughts on “Solar. Energy. Is. Awesome.

  1. Hi, Anna!
    First, Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    I’ve read this interesting article (and translated it to my language to make others read it too) some weeks ago and I get interested about the topic of solar panels. I have some doubts about it and it would be awesome if you can answer my questions according to your experience with this kind of energy.

    1) You said you use electricity as well as solar energy, how do you “change” them in order to use them for some activities? I mean, do you switch the energy? Turn off one and turn on the other? How do you manage the type of energy you need when you wanna use it?

    2) What about rainy or dark days? I read something about that solar panels are recharged with all the solar energy that can consume, all the posible, so it wouldn’t be necessary to get so shiny days or high temperature to use them; is that true?

    Hope you can understand my questions and answer them in a way for dummies! haha Thanks!


    • To answer the questions @Paneska_LP has about solar energy…

      “1) You said you use electricity as well as solar energy, how do you “change” them in order to use them for some activities? I mean, do you switch the energy? Turn off one and turn on the other? How do you manage the type of energy you need when you wanna use it?”
      Our house is still hooked up to the utility grid and everything is set up to work automatically. When the panels are bringing in energy, the electricity goes first to power our house. If there is any excess, the generated power goes back to the utility grid to be used elsewhere and our meter literally spins backwards. At night or when we are using more energy than what our panels are creating, we use the electricity provided by the Department of Power in our area. No switching required.

      “2) What about rainy or dark days? I read something about that solar panels are recharged with all the solar energy that can consume, all the posible, so it wouldn’t be necessary to get so shiny days or high temperature to use them; is that true?”
      Solar panels work best in full sun, but will still bring in some power when it is cloudy. Cloudy is okay, but shade negatively effects the maximum ability for the panels to generate power.


  2. wjmccardle on said:

    Mike will frequently mention on Twitter and in interviews the idea of what it would be like to live without power and what those of us with easy access to energy would miss if we didn’t have power. It’s something I think about often as most things I do on a daily basis require electricity. I thought I understood the importance of helping those who do not have the light and power necessary to live a safe, healthy and productive life.

    But then Hurricane Sandy came through and wiped out our power for over a week in the northeastern seaboard. I was lucky in that my own power was restored in less than 24 hours, but I continued to read about residents of the Rockaways and Staten Island who were living in fear of the dark. It was at that moment Mike’s question of what would you miss if you didn’t have power really hit home for me. I was quite shellshocked to read news of residents in neighboring states struggling to get by before power was restored and every single detail matched everything I have read about Power The World’s work to bring power to those who don’t have access.

    I’m a bit ashamed to admit that while I understood the importance to power the world, I didn’t truly grasp the gravity of the situation until it came knocking on my own door. I had no idea how to get by without power. Despite the fact that I was able to see with the help of candlelight and cook with sterno, I continued to reach for light switches and even prepared a pot of soup on the stovetop before remembering the stove couldn’t cook a meal without power. I was taken aback by the realization that having energy was something I took for granted. Once the lights returned in my own home, I gained an entirely new understanding of the importance of helping to power the world not only to improve the quality of life for our fellow man, but to protect our planet as well.

    On a side note, I was able to register for the National Bone Marrow Donor registry during this summer’s Honda Civic tour and it was great to present my family, who has been effected by Leukemia and bone cancer, with my donor card and a copy of my application to the registry. “Giving in the name of” is certainly a wonderful gift. One that’s much more meaningful and long lasting than whatever gifts people are trampling over one another to purchase.

    Great post, Anna. I continue to be educated and motivated by all the work you, Mike and the guys do to give back and improve our world. I’m really excited to check out the iVolunteer link you have provided here to see how I may give back as well.


  3. This is awesome!!! I have planned many things like these for my future home coz still i’m studying!!! all I can do is reducing the harm which i’m doing to this enviornment!! nothing is possible for me at this point of time!thanx to you two!!!you have totally changed our lives in a good way!!!you two are really inspiring us!!! u guys are the people who alarmed us!!before that this issue never made sense in this country!!thanx again and may every power of this universe save you all!!!!


  4. First of all thank you so much for being such a great and honorable person! You’re the perfect role model for me.
    I always felt the need to help, I mean, I felt so empty and I knew I could only fill that emptiness by helping people and working in charities. As a result I found this organization which supports those who are affected by the “MS ( Multiple Sclerosis)” disease. I raise money and put it in my adopted patient’s bank account, anonymously. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing. I also volunteered in a charity named “Behnam Daheshpour Charity Organization” which is for cancer patients.
    My dream is to be able to work for MFR someday because I’ve always wanted to help out the people in Africa or to live somewhere where I can at least make donations to this Nobel organization.
    Thank you so much, again!


  5. First of all, may I say that I admire how your family always tries to give back to society and help those in need in any way possible, keep it up!

    My family and I have “adopted” a kid from ActionAid (I’m sure you’ve heard of them, if not We basically send a small amount of money per month that is used for the kid’s needs (health, school supplies, etc) and in return we get cute drawings and letters from the kid itself as a thank you.

    As for me, I have a thing for animals so I volunteered once in a Greek settle for bears and wolfs called Arcturos ( and it was one of the best experiences in my life.
    I’ve also donated to Green Peace and Music for Relief. What I like about MFR actually is that it was created by my favorite band and so many other artists are doing their part helping and making it big year by year. It’s amazing, it’s such a unique organization to me.


  6. tensh_iie on said:

    Giving other’s is the best gift you can give – no matter at which time of the year! I’ve been contributing to Music For Relief several times already and I think it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

    A charity thing that means a lot to me is:

    I’ve tweeted you a link a few month’s back, no idea if you’ve ever read it, but here it is again: is a the leading voluntary health Organisation in Alzheimers care. I work with elderly people since over four years, I’m doing a 3-year apprentice ship to become a elderly nurse. I’ve seen many… many people suffer from Alzheimers and it’s one of the MOST epicly sad diseases that’s out there. It’s kinda tragic how we always look out and how we can help people in the work an fight cancer (which is a HUGE and IMPORTANT fight), but over all this…. people seem to forget about those who are right in front of them. Their parents… grandparents.

    The more I learned in school about dementia and alzheimers the more I knew that THIS is the right job for me. I want to help those people – I want to support them on their way and keep them as much themselves for as long as possible. Because nothing is more heart breaking than to see a mother look at her son and not knowing who he is and what he wants.

    Seeing that we can’t HEAL alzheimers or demtia (yet), we need to FIGHT for study’s on this illness. We need to find a way to… stop this, to fight it.

    So yeah… that’s one of the things I put my effort it, something that I support to the fullest. I hope some people, not only Anna, will read this and maybe join us in the fight against Alzheimerz!


  7. Does it matter if its not power related when my family donates? If so I have two I’d give to was the humane society of America and my parents would donate to boys town. It’s great to help those in need for those who have little to none.

    Local church donations were always great to donate to! The one I went to would help those without a good source of power and electricity to help them.


  8. YoMarquesLP on said:

    I’m always so inspired by what you guys do for those in need. It makes me happy to know that Music For Relief and other organizations are doing all this amazing work, and I’m glad they involve us in a way that we can help as well. The POWERLESS video is really touching and #GivingTuesday is an excellent idea. I’m donating to Power The World today and I always like to do so, and I also hope that many other people will participate in this amazing event.

    Also, I’ve done volunteer work before, here in Portugal (I helped taking care of children and I was also close to the MFR volunteer activities when Linkin Park was here last May), and I can say that it’s an amazing experience, it really helps you growing as a person and there’s nothing better than knowing you’re contributing to make someone else’s life a little bit better 🙂


  9. Reblogged this on Linkin Park Fan Corner and commented:

    Such a great blog post! No need for a lengthy comment, I just want to thank you and Mike for being so philanthropic and thoughtful!


  10. Pingback: Solar Energy. Is. Awesome. | 10Ch_iie

  11. That’s great!!! Any little thing we can do to save this beautiful world is worth a lot! I contributed to Music for relief and was sad to see that the $8000 goal was not met, but close! Here’s to our beautiful earth!!!


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