A new solar-powered cooker fashioned from cardboard boxes has won a prize that will fund its manufacture for use across the developing world.
The "Kyoto Box" consists of two cardboard boxes — one inside the other — with an acrylic lid that traps heat from the sun, acting as a hob. Black paint, foil and insulation work together to raise the temperature to the boiling point of water. The cooker was chosen as the winner of the Financial Times Climate Change Challenge by a panel of judges and members of the public.
Jon Bøhmer, the cooker's inventor, says that the secret to the Kyoto Box's success lies in its simplicity. "There are too few people looking at simple research. We need the basic stuff too."
Bøhmer has been awarded US$75,000 to develop the cookers, which costs just US$5 to make, can be manufactured in existing cardboard factories and will be given away for free.
A more robust corrugated plastic version has been developed that costs the same and is ready to be tested in ten countries.
Both versions could save up to two tonnes of carbon emissions per family per year, and Bøhmer is hoping that the Kyoto Box will be eligible for carbon credits — hence its name.