Q: What’s full of empty calories, packed in disposable plastic, saves energy, helps Earth’s ecology, and improves the lives of the world’s poor?
A. Coca-Cola in 1.5 liter plastic bottles.
It’s the bottles, not the sugary stuff inside them. Fill the empty plastic container with water and a touch of bleach (to suppress growth of clouding algae). Punch a hole in the corrugated steel roof of your shanty, make a secure metal collar for the bottle and use it to fix the container halfway-in. halfway-out of the house. Seal with a bit of caulk to make it water-tight. The sun will now fill the dark interior of your dwelling with the light of a 55-watt lightbulb, without electricity.
This simple action, installation of a cost-effective “solar lightbulb” or skylight, could vastly improve the lives of billions of poor people in sun-swept favelas, shantytowns, and bidonvilles and scattered rural dwellings around the globe. Watch a coke-bottle lightbulb being made in the Philippines. You don’t have to understand the language to appreciate the significance of the change in people’s’ daily lives.
“An Enlightening Experience,” Kara Santos, Philippine Daily Inquirer
“A Liter of Light,” MyShelter Foundation website
“A light, and a bright shiny object,” G. Rendell, InsideHigherEd.com
Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-aKU
Video of Sitio Maligaya 1 in San Pedro, Laguna by “A Liter of Light” (Isang Litrong Liwanag).
Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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Tags: apptopriate technology, bidonvilles, Coca-Cola, Coke, ecology, electricity, energy, engineering, housing, lighting, plastic bottles, poverty, shantytowns, slums, solar energy, solar power, squatters, sustainability, technology