Wal-Mart is a seriously different place in China… Corkscrew-Balloon’s got a whole raft of Chinese Wal-Mart shots HERE.
Not many societies get a chance to start from scratch… Haiti gets a chance to put in alternative energy on a wide scale.
This week, an unexpected store opened in rural Haiti. Inside, the items for sale include solar panels, solar-powered lamps, and ultra-efficient stoves. In a country where nearly 70 percent of the people lived without reliable electricity before the earthquake struck, a little sustainable technology can go a long way. American social entrepreneur Dan Schnitzer is determined to make this tech a realistic alternative to kerosene, candles and darkness.
EarthSpark International wants to establish a sustainable network of stores to sell clean tech, including solar panels and ultra-efficient stoves called “Réchaud Mirak” in Creole, which use a fraction of the charcoal that a traditional aluminum stove requires. A solar-powered desk lamp has a payback period of less than a year compared to what families in the area spend on kerosene and candles. In July 2009, ground broke on EarthSpark’s first clean energy store, Magazen Enèji Pwòp, which is owned and managed by COREA. Then, in January, the nonprofit was called into urgent action.