Kenya-based entrepreneur, Jon Bohmer, won the FT Climate Change Challenge on Thursday, after beating 300 other creations. He won about $75,000 in prize money for his invention, the Kyoto Box Oven, which has been deemed the most innovative and practical solution to climate change.
Named after the international environmental treaty to reduce global warming, the ingeniously simple design uses two cardboard boxes, one inside the other, with an acrylic cover that is designed to trap the sun’s rays. With straw or newspaper layered between the boxes to provide insulation, and with the inside box painted black and the outer one covered in silver foil to concentrate the heat, the box is able to trap and retain enough heat to boil water. The best part: it only costs $5 to make.
Designed to benefit the three billion people who use firewood to cook in developing countries, the Kyoto Box Oven would eliminate the need to cut down trees for firewood, thus preventing deforestation (and global warming), as well as potentially saving the millions of children who die from drinking unclean water by giving people the ability to boil their drinking water.
The box can be produced in existing cardboard factories and has already gone into production in a factory in Nairobi, Kenya that can produce approximately 2.5 million boxes each month. Bohmer envisions these cardboard ovens being distributed throughout rural Africa.