This Solar-Powered Cooker Is Actually Saving People's Lives

A team of scientists and engineers is hoping to prevent millions of deaths and protect the environment with a solar-powered cooker - which is 100% recyclable.

SolSource Solar Stove was created by One Earth Designs, an organisation founded in a nomadic home in the Himalayas by Dr Catlin Powers and Scot Frank.

"It was actually a village leader who suggested using the sun to address the massive fuel scarcity issue faced by his community," says Powers. "The government had dropped a solar cooker off by the side of the road once before. His wife walked 18km to find a 95kg slab of concrete with mirrors pasted on top. She dragged the concrete device all the way to the village – an experience that literally scarred her backside.

"That solar cooker saved the family a lot of fuel for three months, after which it broke. The village leader said: 'If we had a way of harnessing solar energy that was powerful, portable, durable, and safe to use, that would make a huge difference for our family. This is the type of technology that people here would like to have.'"

And so the idea for a solar-powered cooker was born, meaning the villagers could cook with energy from the sun rather than burning wood, coal and dung, which release toxic smoke - leading to up to 4m deaths every year.

"During its lifetime, each SolSource abates as much carbon dioxide as 40 trees would abate over 100 years. If we got SolSource into the hands of 1% of the population, we would be doubling the size of the Amazon rainforest," Powers adds. "Imagine the potential if SolSource became the norm for cooking in sunny regions of the world."

One Earth Designs was at the first One Young World expert environment event, which saw young leaders and experts come together to exchange ideas and solutions for the world's most pressing problems.

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