Heat Relief in BangladeshAshis Paul overheard his daughter’s physics tutor explain how gas cools when it quickly expands, and the idea for the Eco-Cooler was born. During the hot seasons in Bangladesh, the temperatures rise up to 45 degrees Celsius, or about 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

70% of the Bangladeshi population lives in huts with corrugated tin roofs, which greatly amplify the heat. Eco-Coolers, built with accessible materials such as plastic bottles, provide heat relief in Bangladesh to improve the lives of those living without power or air conditioning.

Paul works as a creative supervisor at an advertising company called Grey Group, which sponsors several pro-bono projects, including Eco-Cooler. To spread the knowledge on how to build an Eco-Cooler, Grey Group partnered with Grameen International Social Business Ltd., which works in many Bangladeshi villages.

Volunteers teach locals to build the Eco-Coolers from easily found materials and encourage them to teach others how to make them as well. Detailed, step-by-step instructions are also available on Grey’s website.

The materials to make an Eco-Cooler include a board cut to fit a window and plastic bottles with the bottom halves cut off. Due to a litter problem, plastic bottles are easy to find in rural villages. Repurposing waste for its construction and requiring no electricity to run, the Eco-Cooler serves as an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective cooling unit.

Extreme heat can decrease productivity, increase dehydration and the number of cases of heat stroke.

Considering the heat coupled with the tin-corrugated roofs, Jaiyyanul Huq, a creative director with Grey Group told The Observers, “I’ve been in these huts. It’s like being in a sauna in the Sahara.” Generally, the Eco-Cooler cools homes up to 5 degrees Celsius, or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, improving the quality of conditions for those living in homes with tin-corrugated roofs.

“The beauty of it is how easy these units are to make,” Huq told The Observers. Eco-Cooler has already impacted 25,000 homes, with more to come, providing environmentally-conscious, cost-efficient heat relief in Bangladesh.

Laura Isaza

Photo: Flickr

Guyana Shines

‘Guyana Shines’ is a project spearheaded by the U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, D. Brent Hardt, with the goal of educating young people about the importance of protecting the environment and the dangers of pollution. Ambassador Hardt believes that the key to a healthy world is educating young people to have the tools for a sustainable future. Guyana Shines is supported by Youth Challenge Guyana and the Environment Ministry as well as the British and Canadian representatives to Guyana.

The project is centered around visiting the school and making presentations about the dangers of pollution and the importance of cleaning up litter and waste. Last year the ambassador visited 15 schools and plans to visit at least 50 more this year. Students are given information about where to recycle and offered the incentive of trading garbage for money. This year students will also learn how to make compost heaps and become advocates for a cleaner Guyana.

To further boost excitement about ‘Guyana Shines” as well as establish broader goals of cleaning up the environment two contests have been launched. The Wildlife Drawing Contest and the Innovation and Creativity Contest: Looking for New Ways to Reduce our Ecological Footprint both aim to inspire young people to protect the environment.

Communities have also sponsored clean up days targeted at heavily polluted areas of Guyana. Ambassador Hardt says, “Our motivation and our goal in creating Guyana Shines is to encourage and mobilize citizens and communities to maintain a clean environment, address the serious littering problem, and return Guyana to its former splendor as the Garden City of the Caribbean.” As ‘Guyana Shines’ enters its second phase those goals are becoming more attainable.

– Zoë Meroney

Source: Guyana News and Information,Capitol News,Guyana Times
Photo: The U.S. Embassy

Bonnaroo Music Festival Has Donated $5 Million

The internationally acclaimed Bonnaroo music festival has become one of the top, grand festivals in the world – and its philanthropic impact is greater for it. Event partner Rick Farman says, “One of our founding principles is to give back at the local, regional and national levels, and we are pleased that we’ve been able to significantly impact a number of organizations.” Since its inception in 2002, the event has donated a total of $5 million to regional and global non-profit organizations.

A portion of every ticket sold goes to the Bonnaroo Works Fund, and the fund then distributes the money to an amazing array of groups, including Doctors Without Borders, MusiCares, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club of America, Rock the Earth, the American Red Cross, and the Sierra Club. The money also is allocated to emergency aid for natural disasters like the Haitian earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina. The fund is administered by the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), which helps identify and vet organizations, looking for those that have the most impact, including arts, education, and environment sustainability. Additionally, Bonnaroo fans fully funded a solar panel system that will be used to generate power for the concerts.

This year’s outdoor festival is June 13-16 in Manchester, Tennessee, USA. A four day event with 150 performances ranging from musicians to comedians, performing on 10 different stages across 700 acres of farmland. An estimated 80,000 fans will camp out for the entire event. Some of the headliners for the 2013 Bonnaroo are Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Bjork, Wilco, R. Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan and many more.

Rick Farman further explained that Bonnaroo organizers have promised to significantly increase the amount raised over the next 10 years. The Bonnaroo Works Fund will provide for more innovative programs, and will upgrade charitable outreach and philanthropic support.

– Mary Purcell

Source:, Music News Nashville