Cool Campus Hero: John Bowers, UC Santa Barbara

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Professor John Bowers, Director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara is on a mission to bring light to the 1.4 billion people around the world living without electricity. 

In the summer of 2015, Bowers rode the “Ride the Divide” bike trail along the Continental Divide this summer, traveling 2,753 miles from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico in less than 30 days. The effort raised donations to send 2,753 solar-powered lights to children in Africa through the organization Unite to Light that Bowers co-founded, which distributes low-cost solar-powered desk lights to people living without electricity in disadvantaged countries.

Since 2010, Unite to Light has distributed 65,000 lights to 65 countries on four continents, from Haiti to Zimbabwe.

Find out more about Unite to Light and their efforts around the world.