Over the past decades, efforts have been made to curb carbon dioxide emissions through the use of green energy. While we’ve seen huge progress, there’s still one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gases that needs to be addressed — that is cooking and home heating.
According to the WWF, nearly 2.9 billion people still depend on polluting fuels, such as wood and coal, for cooking and heating of homes. Cooking and heating are necessary for human survival. Unfortunately, we are left with only the conventional sources of fuel that produces too much carbon. Just imagine the number of households throughout the world that use smokers or grills, like those you see at https://smokeysteakranch.com/, on a daily basis. It may not seem apparent but the combined emissions of all cooking and heating activities can have a significant impact on the environment, not to mention its consequences on health.
On average a family consumes 30 kg of LPG, 30 liters of kerosene and 1 ton of firewood per year for cooking, which produces around 1 ton of carbon dioxide. Considering the amount of pollution that cooking emits to earth’s atmosphere, there is an urgent need to accelerate the development of clean, efficient cooking fuels. These initiatives would help further reduce man’s carbon footprint, save millions of lives, and make our planet livable for more years.
Solar Cooking: Alternative, Cleaner Cooking
Among the renewable sources of energy, solar power is the widely accessible and available. It produces no smoke and carbon dioxide emissions, unlike fuel sources that require combustion or burning. Solar cooking uses renewable energy that can be freely harnessed by anyone with just the right equipment. Aside from its environmental benefits, solar cooking is also a healthier way to cook as it requires minimal oil.
How to Cook with Solar Energy?
Solar-powered cookers are still in the development. While some hobbyists and scholars have made prototypes, nothing has been released yet in the mainstream. Don’t expect to see one from shops. But anyone can actually make a solar cooker with these three elements: Sun, Time and Creativity.
Place the oven under the direct heat of the sun and harness its energy for cooking. Unlike regular cooking methods, solar cooking needs longer time because of the fluctuating temperatures. For optimum cooking, the temperature should be maintained at 200 degrees.
You can build your DIY solar oven with materials available at home. The most basic requirements include aluminum foil, Styrofoam box, heat insulator such as rocks or bricks, and paint. There are tutorials available on the internet on how to build home-made solar cookers. Obviously, these ovens only work during daytime. For more sophisticated and advanced solar cookers that can be used even at night, solar panels that can store energy and converted into electrical power can be installed. These would require more inventiveness and creativity, but the result is awesome!