WEST ORANGE, NJ - Liter of Light USA, which celebrated its official launch at an event coinciding with Earth Hour,  on March 28, in West Orange, has officially announced that it is teaming up with the public schools in West Orange as part of the company’s educational mission. West Orange will be the newest of 18 Liter of Light chapters that exist around the world. Liter of Light is committed to raising awareness about light poverty and the need for affordable, sustainable energy—a problem faced by over 1 billion people in the world today.

Via the joint program, West Orange students will learn about communities that are debilitated by energy poverty. They will also be taught how Liter of Light uses recycled plastic bottles to build passive and solar-powered LED lights in these communities. In addition, West Orange students will take part in building circuit boards that will then be shipped to and used in solar powered streetlights installed in villages where Liter of Light operates.

“Through its educational programs, Liter of Light USA will inspire a new generation of innovators and activists in America who will learn that it is possible to solve the world’s most challenging problems with simple, innovative, open source solutions that benefit everyone,” said Illac Diaz, founder of Liter of Light.

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“For now, the United States will focus on education, creating awareness of energy poverty and raising funds to support the work of our global initiative,’ said CEO of Liter of Light USA, Eduardo Pena.

At the event, West Orange Council President Jerry Guarino voiced his support for the school project, which appropriately takes place in Thomas Edison’s hometown.

“I feel that it is very important that a project such as Liter of Light’s is a part of the West Orange community,” said Guarino. “It allows our students to be creative and entrepreneurial. It also allows them to give back to the rest of the world.”

At the event, videographer and Liter of Light volunteer Jack Pearce gave guests an idea of the life- changing work Liter of Light performs. Pearce talked about his recent experience with Liter of Light Philippines and showed a video of their work in installing solar lights in the Philippines.

Following the press conference, the event moved to the Highlawn Pavilion where guests watched the Manhattan skyline go dark as New York joined more than 7,000 cities around the world in solidarity with Earth Hour 2015, a lights-off event to raise awareness about climate change. During Earth Hour, Liter of Light USA illuminated their event with an exhibit of its zero-carbon-emitting solar streetlights.

The speeches continued at the Highlawn Pavilion, which included a presentation by students from the West Orange school system, statements by the West Orange Environmental Commissioner Mick Brick, Unity Charter School Founder Lisa Brick, and the Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel, among others.

An official copy of a Joint Legislative Resolution by NJ State Senator Richard Codey, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Assemblyman John McKeon was on display at the event. The resolution by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly recognized the West Orange Environmental Commission, the Downtown West Orange Alliance and Liter of Light USA for their part in this “praise-worthy endeavor.” Liter of Light USA was singled out for its charitable efforts.

About Liter of Light:

Liter of Light is a a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity. Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach impoverished communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally-sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses and streets. Liter of Light has installed more than 350,000 bottle lights in more than 15 countries, and taught green skills to empower grassroots entrepreneurs at every stop. Liter of Light’s open source technology has been recognized by the UN and adopted by the UNHCR for use in refugee camps. Liter of Light is the proud recipient of the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize, and a winner of the 2014-2015 World Habitat Award. Learn more about how Liter of Light works and how you can get involved by clicking HERE. Videos can be seen HERE or HERE.