Can you imagine performing your daily activities in the dark? Millions of families around the world do. The MyShelter Foundation aspires to brighten up one million homes in the Philippines by 2012.
In 2009, National Electrification Commission’s statistics showed that more than 3 million households outside the city of Manila in the Philippines do not have electricity. Even in the city, many families continue to live in darkness. In 2009, reports from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) show that faulty electrical connections account for more than 2,000 fire-related incidents. Since the BFP does not conduct fire hazard inspections in unofficial settlements, these huge districts of poor families are at risk as they live in easily-flammable shanties.
The MyShelter Foundation was established by the Filipino entrepreneur, Illac Diaz. The goal of this organization is to provide an eco-friendly, sustainable light source to developing communities. In April 2011, Mr. Diaz initiated the project, Isang Litrong Liwanag (“A Litre of Light”) and introduced the Solar Bottle Bulb. Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb functions as a skylight. Using the sun as its power source, recycled plastic water bottles can imitate 50-watt light bulbs in illuminating a room. All that is needed is a piece of tin roofing, a water bottle, water and a few spoonfuls of bleach to exclude algae. This simple and easily replicable innovation addresses the basic needs in many low-income areas. According to a BBC interview, 15, 000 families have already installed water bottle lighting within the first four months.
Please consult the Do It Yourself category for an article on how to build your own solar bottle bulb.