Save the Environment and your Electricity Bill with DIY Solar Cookers.

Save the Environment and your Electricity Bill with DIY Solar Cookers. Source: T20
Save the Environment and your Electricity Bill with DIY Solar Cookers. Source: T20

The common refrain among environmentalists and those who are environmentally conscious is often “the problem is systemic, not with the individual.” And while that holds overwhelmingly true, there’s often severe cognitive dissonance on the part of those individuals who have to live within this system, knowing their actions aren’t in line with what they believe in. While home cooking isn’t often seen as contributing to climate change, gas ovens and stoves rely on, well, gas. Electric stoves rely on electricity, but today’s electricity overwhelmingly relies on the oil and gas industry. To top all this off, indoor air pollution created by gas ovens and stoves is of particular concern and could be curbed entirely should you try building your own! 

Now, this solution is not applicable to everyone everywhere, and I want to address this right off the bat, so I’m not wasting anyone’s time. Solar cooking might not be for you if you don’t live in a climate or area with easy access to sunlight or outdoor space. However, if you live in an area with lots of sunlight and space, DIY solar cooking might be a practical and cost-effective solution to cook your meals instead of relying solely on electricity or gas. Box cookers are the most common and easiest to make, and they require easy-to-acquire materials. The way they work is like this, through a cutout in the box, they allow sunlight into the box, which heats up due to reflective and/or insulative materials that cook your food. There are alternative designs, such as the panel cooker, which places a pot inside an oven bag in the middle of several reflective panels, enabling it to reach temperatures high enough to boil water. Parabolic cookers also create the highest temperatures by using a parabolic mirror to direct all the sunlight to one point.

All of these designs, while capable of being created by hand, are also all commercially available should one not have the time to create them by themselves. One of the biggest gripes of environmentalists and the lowest of blows dealt by proponents of oil and gas and other polluting industries is that we are hypocrites. Living according to our principles will provide ease of mind to us and an easy shield defending us from the seemingly endless attacks by those who profit from the continued destruction of our planet.


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