Eurocell News

A liter of light – Bringing light to the poor with bottles and water

20th September 2012


MyShelter Foundation, a charity founded by Filipino student Illac Diaz, is not only giving underprivileged people a chance to light their homes but is showing them how to do it in a way that’s almost free and is sustainable in the long term too!

How are they doing it? Well, with bottles, water and not much else!



Image by Greg Crowley



Creating Solar Powered Light Bulbs From Bottles

It’s a simple idea, but the science behind it is fascinating – water refracts light, receiving the sun’s rays and shining them out in every direction, so by filling a clear plastic bottle with water and placing it half-in the home, half-out on the roof, you can practically fill a room with the same level of light a 55 watt light bulb would emit, at a tiny fraction of the cost.

In fact, the ‘bottle bulbs’ last for five years or so, far more than the average light bulb. They’re quick and cheap to make, requiring only around 50 pesos (75p) and 30 minutes each, and will provide a continual source of green, eco-friendly light with no change to the household’s electricity bill whatsoever!



Landfill or life-changers? Image by Liter of Light



Extreme Recycling With Extreme Goals

Liter of Light, as this MyShelter Foundation project has been named, has set itself a mission to light up 1 million homes by the end of 2012. It’s a challenging quota to fulfil, but one that seems more and more attainable with every bottle that’s installed.

Plus, it’s not just those homes that Liter of Light touches directly that will be affected – the results are so amazing, and at such a cheap price, that the project’s effects are certain to go viral with communities teaching themselves to create these plastic bottle bulbs  and local governments getting in on the act to spread it further afield.



Image by Liter of Light



Innovative Recycling That’s Brightening Lives

Imagine living your life in the dark – simple tasks we all take for granted such as going up and down the stairs or chopping vegetables suddenly become laden with danger.

For millions of people living in slums around the globe, this is unfortunately an everyday plight. It’s not just a simple case of opening a window because there are none, and the narrow alleyways between the homes are cast in permanent shadow anyway.

Even less possible is installing an electric light bulb; using electricity causes household bills to skyrocket, something these people simply can’t afford – for some, wages total less than a dollar per day!

Just imagine what a difference a single light bulb could make to these people; housewives can clean their homes properly and children can learn to read and write. That’s not to mention the financial and psychological benefits a little light can bring, brightening lives in more ways than one.

As far as extreme recycling goes, this is something that’s truly making a difference to millions of lives around the world! After all, can you really think of a better way to spend 75p?


Visit the Liter of Light website to make a donation today, and if you’ve done anything else amazing in the name of extreme recycling be sure to tell us below – we may just feature you on our blog!

Don’t forget to check out the different but equally spectacular way some monks are choosing to recycle their bottles, and coming soon we’ll be telling you about yet another fantastic recycling scheme involving bottles over in Rio...

Posted in: Recycling Ideas1 Comment

1 comment for "A liter of light – Bringing light to the poor with bottles and water"

  • Estelle Page wrote on September 24th 2012 @ 10:19am

    Amazing! I had no idea plain water could refract light so amazingly, it's incredible!

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