Frequently Asked Questions

When people harness free, zero-emission solar energy for cooking and water pasteurization, they harness the ability to breathe cleaner air, drink safe water, and preserve the environment. Below, find the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) submitted by people worldwide, and Solar Cookers International’s responses.  

 

Our Disaster Preparedness Statement can be found at the bottom of the page

 

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                                                                   Solar cooks in Nepal, 2013

 

Q: How do I start a solar cooking project in my country?

Find like-minded people with solar cooking experience in the country index at www.SolarCooking.org,  the Solar Cookers International Wikia webpage.  Key partners, events, and vendors are in the spotlight to assist your search for local and regional experts.

Click here: http://solarcooking.org/countries

 

Q: Can Solar Cookers International bring solar cooking to our country?

Solar Cookers International can best help in two ways: by sharing knowledge, and helping identify local, experienced partners who know your culture and the appropriate solar cooking solutions for your region. 

To find your country, click here: http://solarcooking.org/countries

 

Q: How do you make a solar cooker?

Solar Cookers International provides the most current solar cooker designs and plans especially for people like you. Explore the Solar Cooker Plans category page at www.SolarCooking.org.

Read more: http://solarcooking.org/build

 

Q: Can you send copies of the Solar Cooker Review or the SCI Digest to my country?

 

Solar Cookers International recommends you download and print copies of our publications. This saves your organization the delayed time required for international post, especially as international mail often becomes lost. The Solar Cooker Review and the Digest can be found at the following links:  http://solarcooking.org/scr and  https://www.solarcookers.org/about/publications/

 

 

Q: Can you send me banners and other display materials?

 

SCI does not provide banners and display materials for overseas demonstrations because of the prohibitive shipping costs and customs delays. We encourage you to download brochures and other materials directly from our website: solarcookers.org 

 

Q: Can you send the solar cookers or WAPIs I made to communities abroad?

SCI appreciates innovation and generous contributions to spreading solar cooking worldwide. However, due to the prohibitively high shipping costs and customs delays, we have found that donated solar cookers are not able to reach those who need them. As a successful alternative, we encourage you to use the solar cookers you’ve built as the basis for a fundraising activity, for example a solar bake sale, and send the proceeds to a solar cooking project. Or, use your new solar cookers to teach people in your local community how to solar cook.

 

If your question is not answered above, please contact Solar Cookers International at info@solarcookers.org

www.SolarCooking.org is the world’s largest compendium of solar cooking information. It is maintained and developed by Solar Cookers International with support from The Agua Fund, Inc. For FAQs on solar cooking, click here.

 

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 Elizabeth and her family, Kenya 2015

 

Solar Cookers International’s Work for Disaster Preparedness

People often contact Solar Cookers International after disasters (Haiti earthquake, 2010; Hurricane Huyan, 2014; Nepal earthquake, 2015) to ask if SCI will organize a shipment of solar cookers to the affected region.  People have an urgent desire to help alleviate fellow human beings’ suffering, and want to help make things better.  SCI itself is driven by this basic principal. 

Wanting to help, and understanding the value of a locally available energy source for cooking food and pasteurizing water is critical during emergencies.  Those are times when the fuel supply is disrupted, and energy needs are greater than ever.  Solar energy is captured and used locally—as locally as someone’s yard—and is less likely therefore to be interrupted by damage to infrastructure or supply chains. 

However, beginning to use a new technology in a complex emergency situation adds layers of complexity.

Important factors to consider when responding to crisis

-Logistics for distribution can be chaotic, as supply chains are ruptured
-Transportation infrastructure can be damaged
-If food supply is limited, people may be reluctant to explore a new cooking device
-Community-based partners must often prioritize their focus on survival, and their family’s immediate health and safety
-Stress, grief, and/or personal suffering may limit a person’s intellectual and emotional resources to explore new technology

Having a solar cooking device, and knowing how to use it well, are essential for successful solar cooking and water pasteurization after a disaster.  For most of the world’s citizens, solar cooking is still a new technology requiring 1) training and 2) follow-up for successful use.  Often, after a disaster, trainers aren’t available and follow-up is often impossible.

Solutions: partnership and advocacy

Teaching people to make and use solar cookers for regular use is an ideal way to prevent or reduce human suffering in the aftermath of a crisis.  Solar Cookers International’s strategy to alleviate human suffering in the aftermath of crises or disasters is to continue its current work with global partners to spread solar cooking worldwide as quickly and effectively as resources permit, and to increase our global network of solar cooking partners.  Increasing the number of people who make, use, and teach others to solar cook increases the world’s capability to respond effectively after a disaster.  This will assure that solar cookers and local expertise are immediately available, locally, when needed. 

SCI works hard to build the capacity and strength of our partners to ensure that beneficial, sustainable, and appropriate solar cooking technology is available and usable, both in times of disaster and always.  For example, SCI continues to maintain the largest digital resource on solar cooking, the Solar Cooking Wiki.  This ensures people have access to the technology and knowledge about solar cooking before a disaster strikes.

SCI has provided funding for solar cooking project partners in Nepal (Foundation for Sustainable Technologies, or FoST) since 2013.  Former Nepalese workshop participants have solar cookers, and know how to use them.  Having the knowledge and tools gave these women an advantage when the disaster struck.  They are not wholly dependent on deliveries of LP gas, and are not wholly dependent on wood so they are not exposed to further risk, needing to wander into the countryside during a period of frequent aftershocks.  These solar cooks already have a device to capture solar energy for their most basic needs: cooking and making water safe to drink. 

Through its role as an international advocate, for example with its consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, SCI continues to advocate to have solar cooking considered and implemented appropriately in development and disaster preparedness programs. 

SCI is driven to continue this work, in the way it is most effective:  preparing communities before disaster strikes. 

SCI needs your help to continue this vital work.  All donations to Solar Cookers International ultimately help prepare people to cook food and pasteurize contaminated drinking water, in daily life and during times of crisis when it’s a matter of life or death. You can support this work by making a gift to SCI at https://www.solarcookers.org/donate/  For more information, please contact info@solarcookers.org.