Simple Cardboard Invention May Help Billions

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Not every useful invention has to be developed over many years and cost a lot of money to make. Sometimes the simplest of ideas, can improve our lives profoundly. All it takes is a little imagination and a desire to make a difference!

Ask John Bohmer, whose weekend project with his two daughters, may end up not only make a significant difference in helping our environment, but also, improving the lives of 3 billion people worldwide.

John's invention is a solar-powered oven, made from cardboard. Dubbed, Kyoto Box, it comprises of two cardboard boxes, one inside the other, covered with a sheet of acrylic glass - to help trap the heat from the sun. The inner box is painted with black paint, which absorbs the heat, whilst the box on the outside, is lined with silver foil that reflects any energy that escapes, toward the black box. This helps to create a concentrated source of energy, that can be used for cooking.

The simple oven costs only $7 USD to manufacture, and can easily be put together in any cardboard factory. With the capability of reaching temperatures as high as 80 degrees Celsius, it can be used to boil water, cook rice and casserole - and even bake bread.

In fact, scientists are so impressed by John's invention that they awarded him the grand prize of 50,000 Pounds Sterling, in the recently held, Financial Times Climate Change Challenge. a worldwide competition to find innovative and practical solutions to reduce global warming.

It is estimated that over 3 billion people living in developing countries use chopped firewood for their main fuel, generating an estimated 2 tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions a year. This little contraption will not only help that, but also save our forests, which are being cut down an alarming rate, for use as fuel. In addition, it will save hundreds of women from having to go long distances every day, in search of the wood.

And if that isn't enough, scientists hope that because it will be easier to boil water, people will do so, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of children who die each year, from drinking polluted water.

While solar cookers are not a new idea, this is the first time someone has come up with one that works and is cheap enough to be adapted on a large scale. Production for John's nifty invention has already started in a factory in Nairobi, which expects to produce over 2.5 million units every year.

What a brilliant idea!

Sources: greenpacks.org,BBCnews,com, NPR.org

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24 Comments
  • invisubuleye
    invisubuleyealmost 10 years
    Cool! This helps so many things and it obviously saves money so it seems like a pretty good invention.
    • animalfan
      animalfanabout 10 years
      do they sell those boxes. its an excellent idea.
      • animefan3
        animefan3almost 7 years
        I am a fan of animal, animal fan can you follow me I will follow you back
      • sally soo yo mAmmaover 10 years
        mabe he liks the kid so much he wnnA do sumthn to dem
        • Paigeover 10 years
          You know I kind of feel bad for that kid... Going out, ripping up his back, muscles and all so that some other kids can live. He must really love those kids.
          • Danekover 11 years
            I made one just like that about 5 years ago with two boxes and everything
            • yeah!!!almost 12 years
              super cool!!!
              • hannahalmost 12 years
                AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
                • lukeabout 12 years
                  I hahen't tried it yet but it looks cool!!!
                  • (-8-OMG-8-)over 12 years
                    So cool! And eco-friendly to!
                    • Mayaover 12 years
                      That is a brilliant idea! the person who invented that is saving lives!