In undeveloped nations such as Eritrea, Haiti, or Cameroon, light is a luxury. Mark Bent thinks that's unacceptable.
Bent, a former American diplomat and Houston oilman, is CEO and founder of SunNight Solar, a company that has created solar powered flashlights that they are now spreading throughout the world by way of private donors, the United Nations and organizations such as Direct Relief International.
The Takeaway ran into Bent at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City on February 27th, where he happily pulled apart his product for us. The flashlights, the shape of which reminded me of a Pantene-Pro V shampoo bottle, are made of LED lights and a plastic case. They nab their power from three recyclable batteries that are re-charged by a solar panel that graces the side of the flashlight. In total, the panel provides power for up to 2,000 nights, and the batteries last about two years.
Bent was at the conference to participate in an expert panel titled, "Green Design For Good." When asked about using plastic in his product (a material that doesn't scream sustainability) Bent replied, "I'm willing to live with ABS plastic because I can get people to read." The former Navy man's flashlight do more than help people read. They cut down on the need for kerosene lanterns, which improves lung health, as well as allow villages and refugee camps to function safely after dark. Women are protected from sexual assault, refugees can use the lamps to deter thieves, and farmers can keep away wild animals.
Bent sat down with us post-conference to dish on how his flashlights promote gender equality and safety around the world, and why pink is his favorite color.
Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click "watch in high quality" for best quality).
Mark Bittman had one thought on breakfast: YAWNNN! So he decided to shake things up and started serving up breakfast items you would more closely associate with dinner. Things like black olives, miso, dried tomatoes, bok choy, and roasted carrots. Mark Bittman joins us with a stirring defense for serving wheat berries with soy sauce.
Listen to the full Takeaway segment with Mark Bittman here
Today in Take Two, a new video series where we go behind-the-scenes with The Takeaway's hosts, John Hockenberry pulls out his iPhone to watch a little safe-sex soap opera, while WNYC healthcare reporter Fred Mogul explores some of this new project's finer points.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA — I met up with Aubrey Jewett, a University of Central Florida political science professor, to find out why the “I-4 corridor,” a stretch running from Daytona on the Atlantic coast all the way over to the Tampa on Florida’s west coast, is critical to winning the presidential election. Jewett explains why this once Republican region is slowly turning Democratic.
Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version (click “watch in high quality” for best quality).
BUENAVENTURA LAKES, FLORIDA — While visiting an early voting location in Buenaventura Lakes, less than 10 miles from Disney World, I was intrigued by one voter, David Fernandez Rido. He’s an unemployed small-business owner who is struggling to make his mortgage payments and find a job in this depressed economy. Like nearly one in two residents of this community, he’s Hispanic. He’ll soon be in the majority.
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and Public Radio
International, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.