What is a solar oven? Solar ovens are ovens that use the sun's power to bake, boil or steam a meal without gas or electricity. They can be used on weekend trips to the mountains, in your own backyard or in rural areas, basically anywhere the sun shines! Solar ovens allow food to be cooked slowly, allowing the nutrients to stay in the meal, and permitting the cook to not worry about burning the food.
Why use solar ovens? Worldwide, the supply of wood is diminishing from people cutting down trees. By using the sun's energy, resources such as wood can be conserved. Also health hazards that a meal can potentially create from burning of wood, charcoal or other material in a fire are eliminated. Environmental degradation from fuel production is reduced by not using fuel to cook every meal.
Who is using them? Families in areas with either no fuel, scarce amounts of fuel or high costs of fuel are turning to the sun to cook their food. Solar ovens are environmentally friendly, easy to operate and transportable. They are also helping to improve the living conditions of people around the world. For example, women in African nations are able to place a meal in their solar oven in the morning and instead of tending to a fire and collecting wood for fuel all day, they have the time to engage in other important daily activities. Then the cooked meal is collected in the evening for dinner.
Solar Scientist Like Nachos Lesson Plan is available on how to make pizza box solar ovens with kids. School Teachers in San Mateo County can borrow RecycleWorks' Global Sun Oven® for teaching; contact Gerald Schwartz at 650-599-1424 for more information.
ResourcesRecycleWorks has a solar oven, curriculum, and lots of resources related to resource conservation available for loan to schools, call 1-888-442-2666 for more information.