As some may know, I am currently working towards the ultimate goal of working with overseas humanitarian medical missions (hence why you don't see me very often anymore--lots of work to do!!) One thing I like to keep up on in the realm of innovation is clever ideas that use low tech (think: trash or cheap resources) in really creative ways that end up having a huge impact on impoverished communities. I like the ingenuity and it's also a good chance ideas like this might come in handy for me someday so I like to keep this mental catalog. I also think ideas like these inspire us to think about available resources and knowledge in new ways.
What are some low tech innovations you know of? (Yes, I'm harvesting your knowledge!)
Here are a few that I like:
This has been around for a little while. It's a clay pot placed inside of a larger clay pot and the mid space is filled with sand and then saturated with water. The evaporation process of the water within the sand cools the inner pot which creates a little refrigerator. The temperature inside the small pot can get down to the 60s or even high 50s even when it's 100 degrees outside.
Soda bottle solar light
This is a scathingly brilliant idea! It's a soda bottle that's been filled with water and a bit of bleach (to keep the water clean inside the bottle) and a hole is cut into the ceiling and the bottle inserted in the roof and it creates a skylight during the daytime!
This is literally rocket science! An ingenious application of Bernoulli's Principle to make a simple air-conditioner out of plastic bottles and cardboard. As wind is funneled through the bottles and pushed through the bottleneck, air pressure is increased and therefore creates a cooler breeze than simply an open window.
Last but not least, a cardboard microscope. It ain't no compound, but it can magnify images in the micro range. It's heavily used in the field in areas that lack lab resources.