Plastic Bottles Lighten Up the Slums

Liter of Light

A water filled bottle brings light into a windowless slum dwelling. Illac Diaz (left). Image source: AFP; as pictured in the article of the Basler Zeitung

As recently reported in our local newspaper in Basel (Plastikflaschen für den Klimaschutz – News Wissen: Technik – philanthropist Illac Diaz from the Philippines is using simple low-tech discarded plastic bottles filled with water to bring light into the windowless dwellings of the poor. During daytime such a bottle can illuminate a dark room with the brightness equal to a 55 W incandescent bulb.

Diaz received positive feedback from UNO: Compared to a normal bulb his plastic bottle saves 17 kg CO2 per year.

Diaz was not the original inventor of this applied science technology, it was first used by the Brazilian Alfredo Moser some 10 years ago.

But that was before the time of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The attention Diaz is successfully enjoying today has been made possible by Social Media. See here the original YouTube video:

To better understand how to build one for the dark corner in your attic watch the video below “How to Build a Solar Bottle Bulb 2.0”

I am elated to see how Social Media can play a pivotal role in spreading the word of simple low-tech solutions to every-day problems. If you want to support Diaz’ efforts this might be a good time of the year (with the festive season approaching) for a donation to the project. You can donate at the project’s website “A Liter of Light“.

Do you know of other such fascinating examples of successful low-tech in an otherwise high-tech world?

About Hellmuth Broda

Independent Information and Communications Technology Strategist with an interest in the construction sites between business, society and technology.
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