Every day new products hit the shelves of stores that can do more, better, faster, and smaller. I'm sure you or someone you know owns a laptop, a smart phone, or a ipad (the mico-powerhouses of modern computing). Not only do we have access to a world of information in the palms of our hands, we also have access to more mundane technological masterpieces: fridge magnets that play digital videos, ant farms that project moving images of the ants onto the ceiling, and laptop fans to keep your laptop cool as you stream video while playing solitaire.
In our modern experience of high-tech saturation (both necessary and superfluous), I would like to serve up the technological equivalent of some down-home cookin’. I present to you three low-tech, high-impact appropriate and responsible technologies that are transforming the lives of regular people worldwide.
Solar Bottle Lights: In the town of San Pedro, just outside of Manila in the Philippines, a local transformation is occurring. Men salvage used plastic bottles, fill them with water, and cast light into dark places. Huh? That's right. In an area where most buildings are made of corrugated steel, most families have had to rely on expensive electrical lights to see in their homes during the day. Not any more. At the price of $1 per installation, many families are opting to let the sunshine in, using plastic water bottles filled with water to create solar ceiling lights. Not only is this diverting waste from landfills, it is also creating green job alternatives for people ready to embrace this new technology.