energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

4.20.2008

SOLAR, GREENHOUSE GAS AND POVERTY

Sometimes a plan just comes together. For over twenty years, I have been the number one cheerleader for microfinance projects in Florida. The microloan concept has been more successful in developing nations such as Bangladesh, where it originated, than in the US. The marriage of small business loans and the reduction of greenhouse gases is a logical addition to the toolbox for addressing climate change.

ACCION International announced it is partnering with Uganda Microfinance Limited to provide loans of $100 - $300 (US) for small businesses so they can purchase low-cost, solar-powered LED lights and resell them at an affordable price to Ugandans who now use kerosene to light their homes.

A single one watt LED bulb will cast more light than three kerosene lamps. Currently, the kerosene used to light Ugandan homes creates a financial burden for poor families. Using solar lights instead of burning kerosene will reduce air pollution and will save residents money. Along with a clean energy source, small businesses will earn income for their families through the sale of these affordable, solar lights.

Watch videos from Voices From the Field to learn more about the power of microfinance around the world.

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