Solar Cooker wins $75,000 in contest for Green Ideas

It’s called the Kyoto Box, it costs 5 Euro ($8 CAD) to make and was invented by Norwegian-born entrepreneur Jon Bohmer.  Based in Kenya, he apparently sat down with his 2 daughters and was looking for a project the family could work on together.

Little did he know, he’d come up with a solution for one of the developing world’s biggest problems – simply and easily sterilizing water, and cooking – all for a paltry $8!!  “With as many people as there are in the developing world today, they can’t just cook using trees – they’ll finish off all the trees” says Jon.

It’s fairly amazing!  Essentially it’s 2 cardboard boxes – 1 inside of the other.  The inner box is painted black to hold in the heat, and the outer one covered in foil to reflect heat inwards.  It can get as hot as 80 degrees Celsius which is hot enough to bake bread, or cook a casserole according to the CNN article.

kyoto-boxAstoundingly simple, it worked the first time.  He was looking for something more grassroots suggesting that while some scientists are interested in getting humans to Mars, there could be simple solutions made right here at home.

There’s a company in Nairobi that’s presently agreed to make the boxes and should be able to kick out about 2.5 million a month, with one more durable made from recycled plastics en route that should cost a similar amount.

It beat 300 other entries in a contest organized by the Forum for the Future and the Financial Times newspaper.  Judges included british knight Sir Richard Branson, among other environmentalists.  

Other finalists included a ceiling tile that uses evaporation to cool a room (pictured right)evaporating-ceiling-tile1, and a device that covers the wheels of trucks in order to make them more streamlined and burn less fuel.

Simplicity appears to be the order of the day.  I commend these people for their ingenuity!!  

I had intended just now to do a post on Earth Day, but this is too good an opportunity to pass up.  Stay tuned, I’ve one in the works!!

Enjoy your long weekend everyone!


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