<i>By Jess Zimmerman, Grist List</i>

For kids in developing countries, it’s crucial to have a reliable light source — otherwise you can’t see to read or do your homework. But many homes and villages don’t have electric light, and the cheapest alternative — kerosene — is an environmental nightmare on both large and small scales. It pollutes the environment at large, but it also pollutes your home and potentially lights it on fire in the bargain.

The nonprofit One Million Lights is trying to change that one light at a time. The group swaps out dangerous, toxic kerosene lamps for handheld solar lights, which are clean, safe, and rechargeable. So far they’ve distributed 25,435 lights in 25 countries.

Okay, they have a ways to go before a million, but they estimate that based on the size of families in the rural areas they serve, each light helps seven people. And already they’ve prevented more than 5,600 tons of carbon emissions.

<i>"One Million Lights’ mission is to improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy lighting. Our goal is to distribute one million (1,000,000) solar lights to replace dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps."</i>