In a beautiful marriage of high function and very low cost, a $6.60 solar cooker called the Kyoto Box won the Financial Times Climate Change Contest and $75,000 from Hewlett-Packard to get the idea into production.
The Kyoto Box is made from insulating two cardboard boxes, one stacked inside the other, with straw or newspaper, placing foil inside the first box and then painting the inside of the second box black. An acrylic cover tops off the design.
The very simple and cheap design is already being produced in Nairobi and the maker Jon Bøhner hopes that it will cut down on the use of firewood for cooking, which would slow deforestation and reduce carbon emissions and indoor pollution throughout Africa. The box can boil 10 liters of water in two hours for cooking or for purifying.
Other simple designs that made it to the final round of the contest include a garlic-based feed supplement that would reduce the methane in cow "emissions" and a wheel cover for delivery trucks that would boost efficiency by decreasing drag.
written by Shannon Carr-Shand, April 14, 2009
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