by Katie Medlock | via Inhabitat.com

Rural communities in the Philippines will soon be trading in candles and battery-powered devices for lamps that run on salt water. The Sustainable Alternative Lighting project, known as SALt, has given this nation of 7,000 islands an important tool to use their most ubiquitous resource, salt water, in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.

SALt’s motto is “This isn’t just a product. It’s a social movement.” And they aren’t kidding. Lipa Aisa Mijena is combining her skills as a member of the department of engineering at De La Salle University and her compassion as a member of Greenpeace Philippines to get the lamps in the hands of the most underprivileged communities in the islands. Citizens primarily use candles, paraffin, or battery-operated lamps in their homes, which have been known to cause house fires and drain families’ resources.

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The SALt lamp uses a solution of one glass of water mixed with two tablespoons of salt – even salt water directly from the sea – to provide 8 hours of light. The electrode in the device can last up to a year, depending on how often and long it is used, and the manufacturing process has a low footprint. Being the third most natural disaster-prone country in the world, the Philippines could really benefit from lamps, especially during recovery efforts.

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The SALt lamps also have the capability to charge smartphone and other devices later this year, although the company’s main objective is to get these lamps to rural islanders who have the greatest need for them.

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