Meet Mindy Fox - SCI Special Projects Manager

10:00 AM on Oct 3, 2019

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I am happy to come to work every day to implement SCI’s mission. SCI is a beautiful fit for me because I am a mom of two sons, an avid gardener, an environmentalist, and human rights advocate. I have a long-term commitment to solar cooking. I built my first cooker more than 30 years ago, even before SCI was founded. 

Every issue that SCI addresses resonates with me, including environmental protection, enhancing opportunities for women, sustainability, and climate change. SCI makes a tremendous difference for people around the world, and I am grateful to play my part in making that difference by doing a variety of functions at SCI. 

I complete the transparency and accountability assessments each year to ensure SCI receives the highest ratings from  organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, Guide Star, and Charity Navigator. This is critically important to show supporters that SCI is fully transparent and that we meet the highest standards by which nonprofits are measured.  

Those standards include: 

  • having accurate and transparent financial documents;  

  • reporting on the meeting of goals and showing success;  

  • documenting populations served;  

  • and describing our governance structure, processes and  leadership model.  

I’m proud that we continue to receive the highest ratings from all accountability organizations and that we are fully transparent.  

I also spend time maintaining the SCI Solar Cooker Distribution Map. Each dot on the map represents a location with identified solar cookers. We receive this information from solar cooks and solar cooker distributors from around the world. These dots represent the tremendous positive impact solar cookers are making. 

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We have identified over 3.3  million solar cookers around the globe. What do these cookers mean? They mean almost 12 million people have been directly impacted by solar cooking and over 6 billion meals have been cooked.  

We know that using a solar cooker can prevent, on average, one ton of wood from being cut down, or used as firewood, per year. Saving those trees prevents over 23 million tons of carbon dioxide being released into our air.   

Preventing 23 million tons of carbon dioxide is equivalent to NOT driving over 56 billion miles or NOT burning over 25 billion pounds of coal. Clearly, the solar cookers are making a difference for men, women and children around the planet. 

What are we doing with the data from the dots on the map? I’m extrapolating it into potential savings and impacts that we can share with major decision makers to greatly increase the adoption of solar cookers around the globe. For example,  SCI can take this data to the UN Climate Conference and engage policy makers with these findings.   

These extrapolations allow us to document the potential economic savings and environmental benefits of a country switching from using solid fuels for cooking (such as firewood or dung) to solar cookers. The potential savings are in the billions or even trillions for some countries.  

Take India as an example. Currently, we are aware of over 700,000 solar cookers in India. India has a population of over 1 billion people and 64% of them rely on solid fuels such as firewood. If people cooking with solid fuels made the switch to solar cookers, India could save over $1.5 trillion dollars.  

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In sum, not only am I looking at each country’s population and their reliance on solid fuels, I am taking into account the number of premature deaths due to indoor air pollution and the related welfare and health costs in each country. I am also assessing the economic value of preventing greenhouse gas emissions by using solar cookers. These factors add up to projected economic savings for each country if they  switch to using solar cookers. And again, some countries could save billions or even trillions of dollars by switching to solar cooking. 

I’m proud to be part of the simple, yet powerful, solution of solar cooking and do my part to make a difference. I am working hard to cover our map with so many dots you won’t be able to see the countries, only the tremendous benefits of solar cooking.