Sunday, September 18, 2011
A Brilliantly Simple Idea-A Liter of Light
Brilliant ideas that are cheap, effective for the long term, and greatly improve the conditions people live under are very rare. Whenever discussion of helping those in underdeveloped regions of the planet are brought up we are use to a whole range of logistical, technical, procurement, and political problems frustrating even those who dedicate their lives to helping people in need. But sometimes inspiration strikes with an invention so simple and inspired it wipes away all problems and obstructions.
Here in America the vast majority live with the benefits of electric light significantly enhancing living conditions not only at night but also during the day. We have become so accustom to having our homes illuminated at the flip of a switch that we only really notice when it is absent because of power failures. So great is our dependency that when we lose lighting in our homes it often becomes an insane scramble to find working flashlights or candles to try and make up the difference.
The remarkable discovery, at least for me, during these times of power failure is that when blackouts extend into the daytime unless a window is nearby the house is still largely left in the dark. Like a typical American, I never made the connection between losing lights in my house for a short time and that of people living in third world countries for which darkness is the usual state of affairs making their lives even more difficult. However, someone has come up with a plan to fix that using discarded plastic bottles and other simple and cheap items. My only hope is that this video at the bottom of the post reaches a wider audience.
A little further research on this subject suggests some have gotten their noses bent out of shape because of the ubiquitous multinational corporation jumping into the mix trying to take some credit for the idea. Yeah, it does appear that way and while I detest those actions since this design is so simple but can help so many people I will ignore the typical corporate behavior.
Lighting Up Homes With A Plastic Bottle and Some Chlorine
Isang Litrong Liwanag
If you live in a home without electricity and few or no windows, it's always incredibly dark inside, even at high noon. Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) is a sustainable lighting project that is trying to help people overcome that problem with extremely simple technology: a plastic bottle, water, and a few drops of chlorine and salt is all they need to light up the inside of homes that have no electricity. Designed and developed by MIT students, the Solar Bottle Bulb is now being distributed throughout the Philippines, and the MyShelter Foundation plans to light up a million homes by 2012.