This is the most clev­er thing I have seen in a long time. The equa­tion is simple:

2(cardboard box) + black paint + alu­mini­um foil + acryl­ic cov­er = Kyoto Box

There’s an image of the final res­ult over here.

Attrib­utes include:

  • costs just $US 5 to produce
  • amaz­ingly simple to create
  • com­pletely sol­ar powered: no need for fuel
  • no green­house gas emis­sions in usage (can pre­vent two tonnes of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions per fam­ily per year)

As an advoc­ate of appro­pri­ate tech­no­logy, I find this inven­tion to be very excit­ing. The abil­ity to eas­ily cre­ate clean drink­ing water and cook food can in one fell swoop elim­in­ate many of the prob­lems and points of con­flict in the devel­op­ing world.

Of course, real­ity is much more com­plex than that, but I am hope­ful. One thing that remains to be seen is wheth­er this idea actu­ally takes off. I’ve seen a num­ber of good ideas fail to take hold, often due to inter­fer­ence or lack of interest from polit­ic­al or cor­por­ate entit­ies. The bane of these low-tech solu­tions is the per­ceived lack of any profit motive. Com­pan­ies find it dif­fi­cult to make any money off it, but they can make a killing from selling their Machine That Goes Ping at $999.99 a pop (of which, only $5 will go towards pro­du­cing and improv­ing the product, and the rest goes to mar­ket­ing and legal).

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