Adventures in Off-the-Grid Cooking with a Solar Oven~Part 2: Choosing a Solar Cooker

solar_cooker_cardboard

Ever since my partner Jeremiah weatherproofed the underside of our mobile tiny home back in February, we’ve been carrying around remnants of sheet metal to build a solar cooker. I began perusing designs trying to find something that would be easy to construct and easily transportable.

I’ve seen models that were as simple as cardboard boxes covered in aluminum foil (or even aluminum chewing gum wrappers!), as creative as an old tire between two pieces of glass, or as sophisticated as this inclined solar box cooker.

solar_cooker_tire

solar_cooker_inclinedbox

 

But we were looking for something durable, yet still lightweight and easily transportable. Something we could quickly throw in our trailer if a storm came along and we needed to pack up camp, something that wasn’t too bulky or too fragile and could handle being jostled around with the rest of our gear while we towed our tiny home over mountains and back roads.

solavore_logoSynchronistically, right around that time I received an email from a representative at Solavore, a Minneapolis-based company that manufactures Solavore Sport Ovens, asking if I’d be interested in testing out and reviewing one of their solar ovens. I was initially a bit hesitant because marketing and product promotion of consumer goods run contrary to my belief in living a low-impact lifestyle, and I have very high standards for the companies I do support (for more info on this, see the new report “25 Enterprises that Build Resilience”).

But after doing a bit of research on Solavore and learning that it’s a small, women-owned business; conscious of how its product is produced, packaged, and shipped; striving to become a Certified B-Corps; and selling a product that has an important role to play in building a low-carbon future, I decided to give it a try.

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Solavore project in Kenya

Another great thing about Solavore is that the company works with local entrepreneurs  to increase access to solar cookers in Kenya, Cambodia, and India, areas where cooking over open fires is a major health and environmental concern  and is linked to serious respiratory problems as well as deforestation and even low status of women (girls often have to miss school to collect firewood).

This article is Part 2 in a 4-part series: Adventures in Off-the-Grid Cooking with a Solar Oven. The rest of the series is linked below:

Part 1: Why Go Solar?

Part 3: Cooking with the Solavore Sport Oven

Part 4: Recipes & Tips for Solar Cooking

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