THE SOLAR PANEL
The solar cooking panel is meant to be an ecological way of cooking. Cooking using solid biomass (e.g. wood) has health and climate change implications. Firstly, burning solid biomass creates 25% of the global black carbon emissions, where 84% of total production comes from developing countries. That means we need to tackle the issue in underdeveloped countries and help the environment to which will help crops grow. If the climate is constantly changing, there is no certainty in the production of crops. Therefore, bettering our environment will better the yielding of crops. Secondly, the chemicals, such as carbon dioxide, monoxide and methane, released from the burning of solid biomass harm people. According to the International Energy Agency, “About 1.3 million people – mostly women and children – die prematurely every year because of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass”. Without a healthy population to produce agriculture, food production would reduce. Lastly, using wood for cooking would imply deforestation. People living in subsistence do not consider the environmental impacts of cutting trees down, as their main goal is to survive. Therefore, finding an alternative method of cooking would save the forests, which in term would produce more oxygen for the world.
In addition to its ecological aspect, this innovative way of cooking is efficient, saving time. How does the solar cooktop save time? Due to the reduction of hours spent collecting wood. In underdeveloped countries, generally women spend between one to eight hours travelling to find wood and bring back home for cooking purposes. This means they can no longer participate in the labor force. If a solution as such were implemented, women would be able to contribute to developing the economy making it more productive, focusing on agriculture.
As illustrated in the image attached to this post, solar cooking uses the sun to heat up the pan, which cooks the food. The heat from the sun reflects on the aluminum sheet creating a heat spot, which then cooks the food. Using natural resources for cooking is an environmentally friendly means and will reduce the three problems indicated above.