In the peak of summer heat, there is nothing more refreshing than walking into an air conditioned room. As global temperatures continue to increase and countries all over the world are being pummeled by unprecedented heat, air conditioning is quickly becoming more than a simple luxury, it is a necessity. Unfortunately, for many people, getting access to AC isn’t as simple as walking into a local store or flipping on a switch in their homes.

In the rural villages of Bangladesh, most people live in tin-roofed huts that do not have electricity. When summer rolls around, these living spaces become virtually unlivable in the heat. As temperatures continue to break record highs, the heat can quickly go from being uncomfortable to very dangerous, especially for the elderly and young children.

Noting this very real problem, Ashis Paul set out to find a low-cost, electricity-free solution. What he came up with was the Eco Cooler. This incredibly simple design utilizes a perforated board and empty plastic bottles to create an instant and highly effective DIY air conditioning system.

The Eco Cooler works by collecting hot air in the large opening of the bottle. As the air passes through the small neck of the bottle, it compresses and cools naturally. This simple invention drop indoor air temperatures by five degrees, bringing the average temperature down from a stifling 86 degrees to a much more comfortable 77 degrees.

Check out the EcoCooler in action:


The best part about this invention is it puts a common waste product to use – basically reducing plastic waste and unbearable temperatures all in one shot! Volunteers from Grameen Intel Social Business helped build and install the units in Bangladesh, and also taught the locals how to make their very own systems so they could pass them along.

To help further the reach of Eco Coolers, the Grey Group, a multinational advertising firm, stepped to put the plans online so people all over the world have access to the design. It is truly incredible to see how such a small, simple invention can be used to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide – while also reducing a huge amount of waste from plastic bottles!

To learn more about Eco Coolers, click here.