How do you bring light to millions of poor families around the globe without destroying the environment or increasing the need for more fossil-based fuels? Sometimes the best solutions come from the simplest ideas and an organization in the Philippines is bringing light into the homes of countless poor families by using this simple technology.
“Isang Litrong Liwanag” or 1 Liter of Light is an organization dedicated to lighting the dark homes of impoverished Filipino families. It has helped thousands of families across the country save money by using the sun’s renewable energy. Far from being the perfect solution, it has drastically uplifted the family’s quality of life by helping them spend their meager finances for food or clothing.
In a country where an estimated 85 percent of the people live below the poverty line, the program has brought light into homes without requiring them to connect to expensive electrical services. But this has not only benefited the country’s poorest of the poor, it has also helped middle income families save money by letting them switch to a renewable lighting source during the day.
Solar panels still remain to be best option but employing it on a country-wide scale is simply an impossible task. Solar lamps are cheap and could be produced quickly. It could be employed more quickly to help families still living in the dark.
The economical implications of using solar lamps exceed those of families. Small businesses could use it to reduce lighting cost during the day. This simple technology could cut a family’s dependence on kerosene lamps for example and bring light into their light depraved homes.
These rudimentary solar lamps reflect and amplify the sun’s light reducing a home’s dependence on fossil based energy sources. It is easy to install and requires materials that are easily available from a local hardware store. It also saves millions of plastic bottles from landfills and garbage disposals, turning everyday waste products into sustainable light sources.