On April 9th, the Climate Change Challenge announced their $75,000 prize winner, the Kyoto Box, an inexpensive solar-powered cooker.
The $5 cooker uses sunlight to cook food and boil water. It is truly revolutionary for the estimated 3 billion people who cook with firewood. The cooker is made of two cardboard boxes, one inside the other covered with acrylic. The addition of insulation (straw), black paint and foil raises the temperature enough to cook or boil liquids. Manufacturing and distribution costs are expected to be low.
The list of benefits include:
- Cooking without consuming fuel or firewood,
- Boiling 10 liters of water in two hours which helps reduce disease,
- An estimated saving of two metric tons of carbon emissions per family annually,
- A significant reduction in deforestation, and
- Significant reduction in the time devoted to gathering firewood.
The inventor, Jon Bohmer, had been working for years on high-tech solar concentrators. He noted, "it's all about scaling it up. There's no point in creating something that can only help a few million people. The needs are universal - everyone needs to cook."
Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, the competition was hosted by Financial Times and the Forum for the Future.