Cardboard Kyoto Box Sizzles with Solar


Most of us put cardboard boxes into the recycling bin. Unless we need them for storage, we really have no further use for them. But children see cardboard boxes differently. They become tents, houses, caves in their games of hide and seek.

Realizing this, Jon Bohmer decided to use cardboard boxes as the basis for creating a simple project to work on with his children. Little did he know, it would eventually evolve into the award winning entry in the FT Climate Change Challenge.

A little creativity, inspired by his kids, resulted in the Kyoto box, a solar cooker made from two cardboard boxes and a sheet of acrylic. Very simply, one box is covered with silver foil. Another box is painted black and  placed inside the silver foil covered box. The saucepan of water or casserole can be positioned inside the boxes and an acrylic sheet is placed on top as a cover. Solar power from the sun’s rays do the rest of the work.

No fuel, no firewood – all that’s needed is a little bit of sunshine (something that’s never in short supply in the African continent).

Bohmer, a Norwegian-born entrepreneur based in Kenya, plans on mass producing these solar cookers at an already-established cardboard factory in Nairobi and distributing them throughout rural Africa.

Image: Jon Bohmer