Think about the things you couldn't live without.
This article was originally published by Mashable.
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is a luxury item, like a car, smartphone or even a television. Or maybe you're a little more practical, thinking of food, water or shelter. But what about something simple — something so fundamental to daily life that it's easily taken for granted — like light?
According to the World Bank, a staggering one in seven people across the world live without electricity. So when the sun sets in the evening, more than one billion people may face a darkness they can't escape by merely flipping on a switch.
Instead, those without electricity are forced to lean on more basic solutions, like kerosene lamps. And that's the real heart of the problem.
Although kerosene is widely available, it can be a costly and dangerous source of energy. Studies show that kerosene expenses can consume up to 30% of the monthly income for some of the world's poorest families. Worst yet, open kerosene flames are common causes for burn trauma and home destruction, and much like cigarette smoke, the fumes from gas lamps may also contribute to cancer.
All told, kerosene-fueled lamps can be a harmful business.
But GravityLight, the 2015 Shell Springboard winner has come up with a bright idea that can help parts of the world kick kerosene once and for all.