Maria's picture
In Bangladesh heat relief is brought to the community to benefit their lifestyle

The Challenge: 

The Question: 

Can we create a sustainable solution for heat relief to the communities?

The Problem: 

What is an cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution?

The Solution: 

Create a solution using raw materials-then to share the knowledge within the community.

Channels: 

What can you make with old plastic bottles? An way to draw cool air into homes using plastic bottles, using raw materials and the  creating a benefit to the community:

here's the story:

How Bangladeshi inventors are making eco-friendly air conditioners from plastic bottles

What can you make with old plastic bottles? A vase? A flowerpot? … an air-conditioning unit? Believe it or not, you can. When inventor Ashis Paul came up with an innovative way to draw cool air into homes using plastic bottles, his whole company got on board to help teach people living in rural Bangledesh to do the same. Since February this year, they’ve helped people to install these units-- which don’t need electricity to function-- in more than 25,000 households in developing areas of the country.

“Most people live in tin huts… in the summer, it’s like being in sauna in the Sahara”

Jaiyyanul Huq

Jaiyyanul Huq


Jaiyyanul Huq is a creative director with the Grey Group, the advertising company that spearheaded this social project.
 

We are a flood-prone nation, so in rural Bangladesh, most people build their homes out of tin, instead of mud. About 70% of Bangladesh's population lives in these homes. But the problem with these tin huts is that they get unbearably hot in the summer, especially in northern and central Bangladesh. I’ve been in these huts. It’s like being in a sauna in the Sahara. 

One of our creative supervisors, Ashis Paul, started thinking about ways to bring relief to these people. He was turning it over in his mind when one day, he overheard his daughter’s physics tutor explaining to her how gas cools when it expands quickly. Ashis has an "inventor" mentality and he’s always been fascinated by science. So, he started experimenting. 

He told us about his idea of making an air-conditioner out of plastic bottles. The simplicity of the Eco-Cooler is incredible. 

 

 

Ashis Paul designed the Eco cooler. 

How to Make an Eco-Cooler 
 

 


To make an Eco-Cooler, you cut plastic bottles in half and then mount them on a board. 
 

 


Then, you place the board over a window, with the bottlenecks facing towards the inside of the house. 
 

 


The change in pressure that occurs when air enters the wider part of the bottle and comes out through the bottleneck cools the air. 

It seems uncanny, but the principle is simple. Blow on your hand with your mouth wide open. The air feels hot, doesn’t it? Now, blow on your hand with your lips pursed. It feels like a cool breeze.

The Eco-Cooler doesn’t require any electricity to function! 
 

 

"We finalised it just as the weather was getting hot"

The Eco-Cooler can decrease the temperature by 5°C immediately. When it goes from 30°C to 25°C, I can tell you that it makes a difference. 

The Grey group decided to take it on as a pro-bono project. We like to give back -- it’s core to our company. We decided to make and distribute these units for free. We designed the first prototype in March last year and finally finalised it at the end of February this year. That’s just when the weather starts getting hot in Bangladesh. 

“The streets here are littered with bottles, so the raw materials are easy to find”

To distribute the Eco-Coolers, we teamed up with Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd. because they work in a lot of villages in Bangladesh [Editor’s note: Grameen Intel is social business platform that’s a partnership between NGO Grameen and the company Intel]. We sent our teams out to the villages where Grameen Intel works to teach people how to make our Eco-Coolers. 
   
The beauty of it all is how easy these units are to make. First of all, the raw materials are easy to find: people don’t recycle here, so the streets are littered with bottles. We show people how to make them and then ask them to both do it on their own and to teach others. We also made a how-to pdf that’s up on our website and includes an easy step-by-step process.

It’s free and people get immediate results!

Comments

Amazing

Alex Levene's picture

This is a fantastic and fascinating story.

I've already suggested this as a possible build project to help support people living in refugee shelters in Europe. I hope that we could find a way to implement it during the summer months.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful and useful story!

Andra Pop's picture

I honestly think this is a very interesting and practical idea. The ones involved in this activity didn’t only help those people be more comfortable with the weather conditions from there. You helped the environment too. (Now I’m thinking about the long time that it takes for plastics to biodegrade – such a well-known problem.) You basically killed two birds with one stone. I think this is the kind of initiative we all need to solve the problems around us. So happy for this! Well done!

Also, are you planning to extend this project into other countries or regions? Do you have the resources? I’m very curious.

Well, the founder is not here on the website

Noemi's picture

..but maybe @Maria knows more?

Here is the scoop, from what I read...

Maria's picture

The initiative was taken over from the founder and a few volunteers from the Grey Dhaka group who took it on a pro bono project. Then teamed up with Grammen Intel to help teach the community to make them. Treating it as a human project rather than a copyright corporate idea. @andra @Alex Levene @Noemi

Indeed a great story!

Alberto's picture

"A human project, rather than a corporate one." Herein might lie one of they keys to open care. @Ezio Manzini might have something to say here...

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