Kyoto Box, Solar Cardboard Cooker Wins Climate Prize

April 9, 2009 / 9 Comments

The Kyoto Box is probably the cheapest and most useful version of the fancy solar cooker (solar ovens) models, we’ve seen. Winner of the contest for sustainable and practical green ideas— organized by the Forum for the Future, it’s a an amazing design by Jon Boehmer, a Norwegian based in Kenya, that plans to save the trees, reduce carbon emissions and most importantly save lives.

kyoto box Kyoto Box, Solar Cardboard Cooker Wins Climate Prize

Since much of the rural part of the developing world still uses firewood to boil contaminated water and cook food, the Kyoto Box is definitely a clean alternative to a couple of billion people. Made from two cardboard boxes, which use reflective foil and black paint (to maximize absorption of solar energy) and is covered in a transparent lid, the temperatures inside this can go up to a good 80°C on a fairly sunny day.

Named after the international environment protocol, the Kyoto Box is perfect to capture sun for those who live in tropical and semi-tropical regions of Africa, India and South-East Asia. And since it only costs $6, it’s damn affordable and helps to keep more trees standing. Don’t you think?

kyoto box Kyoto Box, Solar Cardboard Cooker Wins Climate Prize

Kudos to Jon!

9 Responses

  • Mazharul Islam / April 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Congrats Mr. Jon Boehmer. You have done a great job.

    this box should be commercially available in Bangladesh as soon as possible. Sufficient sunlight is available in this country all the year round. People use wood and gas for cooking usually. Commercial production can be started here locally.

    This box should be made popular. We should not forget to save our planet, save our lives.

  • M Brown / April 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    How can it boil water at 80 celsius? I thought water boiled at 100 celsius?

  • Todd Millions / April 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Geee Willlikurs-Any of you infants think to compare the construction/performance of this against simalar designs going back a couple hundred years? See; Langley ect.They had to find out that low iron glass was better-has this being compared to the unspecified plastic glazing of this unit?Mylar and polycarbonate-the common ones that resist boiling heat and over , degrade in sun mylar tears,and the glass our mafias will permit us to have shatter easily.
    While the cardboard is expedient-it also wrinkles even when indoors as humidity change.aluminun steel or chrome steel are more expensive,but can double as food prep surfaces easy to clean and stored indoors at night function as high status mirrors-which is ok as long as they are cooking and boiling on sunny days.

  • Fiber Monado / April 12, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Congratulation Mr. Jon Boehmar.
    Please share your inovation. I think the “kyoto box” will useful for may country, Indonesia.

  • Tanya / April 13, 2009 at 12:11 am

    This is awesome.. at this price point, the market possibilities are huge. Such out-of-the-box solutions are the way forward, if we need to look at a way of conserving the planet.. do share Jons contacts, we would be extremely interested in contacting him and discussing this with him. Congratulations !

  • Todd Millions / April 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Further to previous-

    Hoarce de Saussure-Hot box Solar Cooker.

    Minimium Solar Box Cooker-

    These are of great import,I’ve built and used these and others.Solar has being beavering away and doing deployment testing for years.
    Where is their prize monies to further their long running efforts?Or further work?

    Could it be that the Finacial Times failed too do proper background checks on the state of the art,or the basis in reality for their prize?-I’m shocked ,shocked I say !

    solar Cooker

  • AL / May 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    M Brown has a good question: how does it boil water at 80 degrees C?

  • Patrick / December 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Seriously, you people.

    “Oh, I saw one that cost more than this and worked better”
    “Oh, someone 200 years ago built one of these, out of other materials and not so easy and cheap…but hey, urm, like, c’mon man”

    The guy has put forward doing something with a cardboard box, some foil and a bit of paint…locally they’re quite likey easily available.

    I have a relative who works with the poor in Ethiopia. This sort of stuff is great.

    Don’t whine on about more complex designs that are not as portable. Who the hell cares if the thing degrades over time…what, they’re about to run out of cardboard boxes (or other ones for that matter)?


  • vallen / March 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Patrick- you missed the boat- so did Jon Bomer
    This isn’t new. This doesn’t nor will it ever boil water.
    But really, why pay for this when ANYONE – just about ANYWHERE on the planet can make one.
    Tanya- with your “price point and marketability”- this isn’t a GAP sweater- it’s a frickin’ BOX. Which the Peace Corps could teach to easily make.

    Let’s keep the DIY world with DIY people, methods and practices please. No-one in the Sahara is clamoring on to buy a box with some silver foil on it. People in the 3rd world are light years ahead of the “marketing” bozos anyway. I say a Nigerian with a solar panel on his rucksack 12 years ago- waaay ahead of any of you office Turkeys.

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