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7 Green Ways to Ditch That Static Cling Without Resorting to Toxic Dryer Sheets…

7 Green Ways to Ditch That Static Cling Without Resorting to Toxic Dryer Sheets…

    Green Ways to Ditch That Static Cling Without Resorting to Toxic Dryer Sheets

    Looking for a more environmentally-friendly laundry routine, but can’t find a good way to reduce static cling without using dryer sheets?

    Separating oneself from these sheets, which are made with a dangerous assortment of carcinogenic chemicals, is not easy. Luckily, there are simple green alternatives that work just as well.

    According to diy Natural, here are seven natural ways to reduce static in the laundry:

    Hang Dry

    The best natural way to eliminate static in laundry is to hang dry everything. Now that spring is approaching, it should be a little easier for most to take advantage of drying clothes outdoors or in front of an open window. When hung to dry, clothes are no longer rubbing together to create static electricity.

    green, ways, ditch, static

    Whether hanging it outdoors or indoors, there are several options. Laundry enthusiasts can build their own outdoor clothesline, use a compact outdoor model that folds up (and can be taken out of the ground) when not in use or dry indoors using a large rack or a smaller model.

    When hang drying isn’t an option and a dryer must be used, there are still several natural methods for keeping static down.

    Dry Synthetic Fabrics Separately

    Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester are one of the main culprits of static cling. When dried separately, garments made from synthetic fabrics aren’t given the opportunity to charge up all the other clothing. Consider pulling synthetic fabrics out of the wash and hanging them on an indoor or outdoor rack instead of throwing them in the dryer with everything else.

    Reduce Drying Time

    Another common cause of static in the laundry is over-drying. When items are completely dry and no moisture remains, this invites static electricity into the mix. Allow clothes to dry only until they’re not wet anymore—tumbling around for excessive amounts of time in the dry heat increases static and increases energy costs.

    Vinegar Fabric Softener

    DIY Natural’s homemade fabric softener is made with vinegar. It actually serves double duty as fabric softener and static reducer in the laundry. When used in the rinse cycle of the wash, most users will see a reduction in static cling after clothes go through the dryer. Even if planning to hang dry items, there’s no need to worry about them smelling like vinegar. When items are completely dry the vinegar smell will completely vanish.

    Wool Dryer Balls

    Wool dryer balls are an excellent alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets. These little wool balls absorb moisture from clothing in the dryer, maintaining a more humid environment and, therefore, cutting down on static.

    In addition to reducing static, they also reduce drying time and fluff clothes. DIY Natural recommends using six or more in the dryer for best results.

    Vinegar in the Dryer

    Using white vinegar in the dryer is another great trick for eliminating static. Simply spray a clean washcloth, sock, pre-cut piece of cloth or any other garment with vinegar. This item is then tossed into the dryer with everything else. The vinegar in the dryer will keep static down—and remember, the vinegar smell will be gone once things are dry.

    Soap Nuts

    Soap nuts can be used as a green alternative to commercial laundry detergents. They’re actually a type of berry, and can be put in a muslin bag and tossed directly into the wash. (They can also be boiled down to make a liquid laundry soap). They already possess anti-static properties, so laundry that’s washed with soap nuts doesn’t require any other anti-static remedy.

    Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH and pages for more related news on this topic.

    Best Solar Phone Chargers In 2022

    Support us! Explorersweb may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more.

    It’s 2022 and solar power is used everywhere, including phone chargers. Solar-powered phone chargers not only cut down your electric bill but help you go a little green along the way. We’ve narrowed down the best options on the market.

    The best solar phone chargers

    BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger

    • Easy to carry
    • Lightweight
    • Three USB ports
    • High energy conversion
    • Wide compatibility
    • 24-month warranty
    • Durable protective features

    If you need something with a lot of power, the BigBlue 3 USB Port 28W Solar Charger is ideal. With three large solar panels, it measures 11.1 × 6.3 × 1.3in folded or 33.1 × 11.1× 0.2in when open, so you can still enjoy the handy portability of a smaller solar charger. It weighs just 20.6oz, so it shouldn’t bog you down when trekking.

    You can make use of three USB ports to charge multiple devices. Its energy conversion rate is also top-notch: it can convert as much as 23.5% of solar power into free energy as long as you have enough sunlight to power it. With multiple solar panels, no matter where or how you position them, there should always be some light available.

    Despite its slim design and lightweight build, it’s durable, using a PET polymer surface that protects it from the elements and guarantees longevity. The two-year warranty is great for peace of mind.

    You can lay it flat, or hang it from your tent or backpack so you can charge it while on the move.

    Anker 15W Dual USB Solar Phone Charger

    • PowerIQ charging technology
    • Charge two devices simultaneously
    • Highly portable
    • Industrial strength PET polymer
    • Storage loops
    • Advanced short circuit safety
    • High-wear polyester canvas

    Built for your iPhone or Android device, the Anker 15W Dual USB Solar Phone Charger is designed to give you the most bang for your buck. Simply lay this mat anywhere you wish, depending on the sun’s current position, and you’ll be good to go. The compact size allows for easy fold-up and storage and the charger features a max 23.5% efficiency rating.

    This kit also includes a 3ft micro USB cable, a welcome guide with instructions and maintenance care, plus the stellar 18-month warranty. You get a charging speed of up to three amps in direct sunlight (ideal conditions), or about 2.4 amps in non-ideal conditions. If it starts to rain you can use the waterproof polyester canvas cover.

    Nekteck 28W Portable Solar Panel Charger

    • High-efficiency
    • Monocrystalline solar panels
    • Smart IC Chip technology
    • Portable and foldable
    • Durable design
    • Charge two devices
    • Waterproof

    With a maximum conversion rate of 24%, the Nekteck 28W Portable Solar Panel Charger is perfect for those who crave high efficiency. The mono-crystalline solar panels absorb plenty of sunlight throughout the day and can deliver a maximum of 3.0 amps, or 2.0 amps per port.

    The Smart IC Chip technology delivers a fast charging experience for two devices. It identifies USB-powered devices so there is no wasted energy while charging. The safety-conscious design prevents overheating or short circuits.

    Like the other picks, it’s remarkably portable, and it follows the folding panel trend. This design also ensures durability and resists water and dust.

    The zippered side compartment gives you a place to store your phone as well as any cables.

    Dizual Portable Solar Phone Charger

    • ABS PC design for durability, perfect for hiking
    • Two rubber cap-protected USB ports
    • Football grain design to aid in waterproofing

    With an integrated hook, this is perfect to hang on the loop of your backpack, keeping your phone charged while out on the trail. You get two USB ports, protected by rubber caps. The panel itself is waterproof and includes a football-style design that helps water run off of your device.

    Crafted of ABS plastic and PC, the Dizual Portable Solar Phone Charger can withstand drops like a Champion. Due to the small size of the solar panel itself, charging takes a little bit longer, but this is balanced out by the excellent price.

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    X-DRAGON Solar Charger 8-Panel Station

    • Comes with a slew of cables and adapters
    • 22% – 25% solar panel energy retention
    • High-wear Oxford fabric for weather resistance

    Alright, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Need enough solar power retention for the entire camping crew? You’re going to need some serious power. X-DRAGON’s Solar Charger brings you 22% – 25% energy retention. It features dual USB ports for charging multiple mobile devices, or an 18V adapter (included) to charge your laptop.

    Water and weather-resistant, you can leave it in light rain without worrying about damage, and can simply place phones underneath the eight-panel design to shield them from the rain.

    SunJack 15W Solar Charger Power Bank

    • Two amps of power per USB port (comes with two individual, removable power banks)
    • Includes USB-C Qualcomm 3.0 cables for quicker charging
    • Outstanding 12-month warranty

    This rugged, portable, and weather-resistant solar panel comes with two detachable power banks. Energy is fed into these, giving standard phones up to ten full charges (which is pretty insane). If you’re using this for in-home use, such as mounting outside of your window, you’ll be able to charge the entire family’s electronic devices on a single day’s charge.

    It is also ideal for camping. If you’re camping with friends, but you’re not roughing it, you’ll be able to keep your devices charged with ease. It’s also extremely durable. Accidentally kick up stones, leave it out in the rain, or drop it off a twelve-foot ledge, and the SunJack 15W Solar Charger Power Bank is still going to work as if nothing happened.

    Different types of solar chargers

    Monocrystalline

    These generally require less space but aren’t always the best at charging.

    Polycrystalline

    The difference between this and monocrystalline is the material that each individual solar cell is made of. In this case, a silicon substrate. In short, a polycrystalline panel has multiple cells, while a mono has one large cell to absorb solar energy.

    CIGS Panels

    Crafted of copper, indium, gallium, and selenide (CIGS), these thin-film photovoltaic technology centerpieces are flimsy but can generate more power. They require less film, and overall, are much better for the environment, and in certain cases, provide you with more power per charge.

    Features to look for in solar chargers

    As we just said above, CIGS panels are extremely portable, but other power banks with solar panels can be pretty heavy.

    Quite simply, how many connections it has to charge devices. In most cases, you’re only going to see one or two USB or micro USB connections. But don’t let that put you off. You have to think about how much energy it’s taking in, versus how many different conduits it has to output through. In our humble opinion, one USB connection is plenty to get the job done.

    This all plays into efficiency percentage (most solar panels cannot go above 29% efficiency). How much power your charger can hold when it’s just soaking up the sunlight? Pay close attention to the power-related features to see which one is right for you.

    A few things to understand about solar panels

    Solar tech is still evolving. The first solar panels were designed in the 1800s but could only hold up to 1% power retention. Now, there are some panels that claim up to 33.2% retention. Certified-use panels can go up to 29%.

    Solar energy is clean energy but doesn’t operate the same way that commercials and advertisements would make them think. They are an investment and they cut down on your energy consumption, but they’re also finicky at times. It’s worth giving a new charger a half-a-dozen or more uses to get the hang of one.

    Sam Anderson

    Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.

    Jeep Wrangler JK VSS System™. 100 Watt Hood Solar Panel | In Stock and Shipping!

    Introducing the Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™ for the Jeep Wrangler JK, the world’s first vehicle specific hood-mounted solar panel system.

    The Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™ hard-mounts to the hood of your Jeep and, during daylight hours, provides a constant flow of clean solar energy to your primary or secondary vehicle batteries. This gives you the ability to run 12V accessories like fridges, phone/laptop chargers, lights, power inverters etc. without the need to start your engine and without the fear of draining your battery and leaving you stranded. The VSS System™ is completely plug-and-play if paired with our optional MPPT solar charge controller and can be installed in as little as 1.5 hours.

    We chose the most stable and durable multilayered semi-flexible solar panel construction available to ensure that these solar panels can withstand extreme environmental conditions, maintenance-free, for years.

    The Cascadia 4×4 VSS System ™ is currently in use in the Canadian mining industry.

    The future of vehicle charging is here.

    Customer Reviews

    Introducing the Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™ for the Jeep Wrangler JK. The world’s first, highest quality, and most complete vehicle specific hood-mounted solar panel system.

    Note: This product only fits the standard JK hood.

    Key Features:

    • 100W of clean solar energy to keep your Jeep JK battery topped up when the engine isn’t running.
    • Rugged “Marine-Grade” construction to withstand extreme environmental conditions.
    • Perfect for overlanding, camping, and the jobsite. Keep your drinks cold and equipment charged without killing your battery.
    • Solar Made Simple: The optional “Plug-and-Play” complete kit includes everything you need for a clean and simple install.
    • 2 year warranty.

    Go Further, Stay Longer.

    Benefits

    How does it mount?

    Each panel comes with a full perimeter of pre-installed high temperature 3M VHB tape. We spend time sanding, cleaning and prepping each panel to make sure that the tape has a solid bond to the panel. This tape then mounts safely to your hood without damaging the paint.

    We highly recommend that the Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™ is paired with our vehicle specific vinyl base sheet which sits under the solar panel. The vinyl mounts onto the hood of your vehicle in the same way that traditional hood vinyls or automotive vinyl stickers are applied. The vinyl acts as a moisture and debris barrier to protect the underlying paint.

    Note: The VSS System™ takes 1.5 hrs to install and must be done in a dry environment between 18° and 35°C (64° and 95°F).

    How does it mount?

    Each panel comes with a full perimeter of pre-installed high temperature 3M VHB tape. We spend time sanding, cleaning and prepping each panel to make sure that the tape has a solid bond to the panel. This tape then mounts safely to your hood without damaging the paint. We highly recommend that the Cascadia 4×4 VSS System™ is paired with our vehicle specific vinyl base sheet which sits under the solar panel. The vinyl mounts onto the hood of your vehicle in the same way that traditional hood vinyls or automotive vinyl stickers are applied. The vinyl acts as a moisture and debris barrier to protect the underlying paint. Note: The VSS System™ takes 1.5 hrs to install and must be done in a dry environment between 18° and 35°C (64° and 95°F).

    Will engine heat affect the VSS system?

    This is the most commonly asked question about our VSS systems. It is a fact that solar cells lose efficiency as they warm up, however the simple answer is NO, engine heat will not have an effect on how our VSS system operates.

    Why you ask? Well, the main benefit to the VSS system is that it provides power to your vehicle battery when the engine is NOT running (and therefore not hot). When the engine is running (and hot), the vehicles alternator is doing the majority of the charging not the solar panel. This means there is very little effect from the additional heat on the system when the system is used for it’s intended benefits.

    In order to help with heat build up, each VSS panel is prepped with closed cell neoprene on the back of the panel. This serves two purposes: it lifts the panel up off the hood creating an air between the panel and the hood to allow for cooling, while also helping to protect the vehicle hood from any contact with the back of the panel.

    Will the VSS system work with my battery?

    The MPPT charge controller included in our complete kits is programmed to charge a wide variety of battery types. Our system will work with AGM, Lead-Acid and Gel Cell type batteries.

    we do not recommend the use of Optima batteries with the VSS systems.

    Can it be removed?

    Once installed the VSS system is not designed to be removed from the vehicle. The solar panel can be removed only if absolutely necessary. ie. the panel needs to be replaced.

    Reolink Argus 2 Review

    SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

    The battery-powered Reolink Argus 2 is a good security camera for people who want added home surveillance but break into a sweat at the thought of running wires. The Reolink app is easy to set up and gives you access to live video feed from your smartphone. Using the add-on solar panel provides 24/7 power to the camera battery.

    Unfortunately, the Reolink Argus 2 lost some of its luster over the past few years and we don’t recommend buying it over the newer (and more fantastic) Reolink Argus 3 Pro.

    Reolink pricing

    The Reolink Argus 2 and solar panel together cost around 115. Access to the live video feed through the app is free, no contracts required. For the camera’s recording function to work, you need to buy a microSD card, since one isn’t included with the camera. Basic Cloud storage for video recordings is free, but if you want extra Cloud storage, Reolink has a few different plans to choose from:

    Compare Reolink Cloud plans

    Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

    Reolink Argus 2 features

    The Reolink Argus 2 runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unlike some outdoor security cameras, you won’t have to worry about running wires for power, so you can mount it pretty much anywhere. Plugging it into a regular outlet using the included power cord will charge the battery pack, or you can plug it into the Reolink solar panel for continuous power to the battery.

    The Reolink is an IP camera, meaning you’ll have access to a live video feed from anywhere using the Reolink app on your smartphone. The camera has a motion sensor built in, and it conserves battery life by recording to a micro SD card only when it detects motion—it doesn’t run continuously. The app lets you set up alerts so you get a push notification whenever it senses motion.

    Frame rate

    With a maximum frame rate of only 15 fps (frames per second) we noticed that the Reolink Argus 2 video feed is much choppier than most other security cameras. There’s also about a 2.5-second delay before the camera triggers a motion alert.

    This might not seem like much, but the camera starts recording only when triggered by motion detection. We found that even someone walking across the farthest point of the field of vision doesn’t show up in a recording until they’re almost out of frame.

    Motion detection range

    We tested the motion detection range of the Argus 2 by walking across our backyard at various distances from the camera. The motion sensor started to detect motion at about 15 feet away, and when you combine that relatively short distance with the delay on recording, it’s a major flaw for a surveillance camera. We easily covered the 15 feet in just over 2.5 seconds and the Reolink recording only captured the last few feet.

    Two-way audio

    The camera’s two-way audio lets you listen and talk through the wireless security camera. Like the motion detection delay, the audio also has about a 2.5-second delay between when you speak and when your voice comes from the camera’s speaker. This makes it difficult to carry on a conversation with someone on the other side of the camera.

    Through the app you can also set the speaker on the camera to sound an alarm when it detects motion. It’s a good deterrent, and it doesn’t have the same delay as the other features, but the alarm isn’t very loud. You also have the option to change the alarm to your own voice recording instead—useful if you want to give the appearance that you’re watching the feed.

    Adjustable video quality settings

    We like that we can change the picture quality settings for different benefits, like increasing the resolution for more clarity, or lowering it for better battery life and better performance with slower connection speeds.

    Using the app, you can also take videos and photos from the live feed and save them to your phone, even without a microSD card, and you can give other family members access to the live video feed using the QR code.

    Alerts and notifications

    The Reolink app gives you several customizable options for the motion sensor’s push notifications. Turn them on and off or schedule them only for specific times (like at night when no one should be prowling around, not even the dog).

    I found that when I was away from my home’s Wi-Fi network, connection to the camera’s live feed was often hit-and-miss. When I’d get an alert on my phone and check the captured video recording, often all I saw was my backyard with nothing happening.

    While I’d much rather have a surveillance camera be too sensitive than not sensitive enough, the false alarms got annoying and I was left wondering if something had happened and the camera had just been too slow to capture it.

    Installing the Reolink Argus 2

    The Reolink Argus 2 camera and the add-on solar panel are easy enough to install that anyone can do it—even me. (While I’ve seen my fair share of security cameras, I hadn’t installed any of them yet.) Both the printed and in-app instructions were easy to follow and included troubleshooting tips for when the camera didn’t play nice.

    The only installation problems we encountered were connecting the camera to our Wi-Fi network and getting the camera to recognize the QR code on my phone. Fortunately, we sorted out both issues with a little trial and error and it only took about an hour to set up the camera from start to finish.

    Final word

    While we appreciated how easy it was to set up and use the Reolink Argus 2 and solar panel as part of a home surveillance system, the delays and limited motion range were a major drawback to its overall performance as a security camera.

    It’s a good choice if you don’t want to invest a lot of time and money in installation, but you won’t get the high performance of the Reolink Argus 3 Pro, which tops our list of the best wireless security cameras.

    Window Cling iPhone Solar Charger

    The Window Cling Solar Charger is an ingenious device designed to cling to a window and soak up all those good old sun rays generating solar power which in turn can be used to recharge your electronics.

    Window Cling’s solar panel charges a 1,300 mAh rechargeable lithium battery which carries enough output to charge an iPhone.

    The Window Cling Solar Charger is available for 70 at amazon.com

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