Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Operation Sunbeam


Solar Oven (Photo Credit)
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a spy.  How I loved all those top-secret codes and 007 spy gadgets.  Of course, one of my favorite TV shows was Mission Impossible.

Today, my mission, which I have chosen to accept, is far different from those Jim was offered over the course of the series.  Though the overall operation has changed, there are still zeros in my aspirations.  These days I am working on zero waste and zero emissions—perhaps the Ground Zero of those seeking the ultimate green lifestyle.  Just imagine how our world would be different if everyone accepted that mission.

I recently wrote a review of a book, Cooking Green, about how we might each reduce our cookprints (our kitchen’s carbon footprint).  In that book, author Kate Heyhoe compared our ovens to Humvees because of their horrible waste of energy.  She really got me thinking about how I might create greater efficiencies with my cooking.

Kate mentioned that the closest we can get to zero emissions when baking is to use a solar oven.  That thought has been bouncing around in my brain for several days now.  Intrigued with the thought of building and using my own solar oven, I have been a woman on a mission. 

First, I gathered up resources for learning more about solar cooking.  A topic search of Squidoo web pages led me to many excellent resources.  I’ve since checked out solar cookery guides and cookbooks from my library and have conducted a number of Internet searches.  These combined resources have only increased my enthusiasm for making my cooking as green as possible. 

Curious?  Your mission, which I hope you will accept, is to take a minute or two to explore the potential for tapping into the greatest underutilized power source on the planet (sunshine).  I encourage you to think about the possibilities by visiting How to Make and Use a Solar Oven.  Don't delay.  This link may self-destruct in 30 seconds.

12 comments:

  1. Love your 'take-off' on Mission Impossible. :) A solar oven would definitely be a boon to saving our natural resources... by using a 'renewable' natural resource (the Sun) to cook.

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    1. Thanks, Elf. It was fun using that M.I. theme. Solar ovens could solve many problems in Third World countries (as well as more developed nations). Women wouldn't have to spend their days walking miles and miles for scarce firewood (for cooking fires). Also, water could be quickly boiled to make it safe for drinking. I may accept that mission (getting this life-changing resource into the hands of those who need it most).

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  2. Hmm, now that's an intriguing idea. Not only a solar oven, but also improving my cookprint. I wonder, does "order out" count???

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  3. I was a big Ian Fleming fan back in the day! I think Bond would have had a solar oven that folded out of a watch. Another type of "solar" oven is to use the sun to dry herbs. I know of an herbalist who lives off the grid and she recycles window screens for drying. Great article!

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    1. It's cool to think of a retractable solar oven inside a watch. Someone needs to invent one. I do plan to use my solar oven as a food dehydrator. The commercial solar cookers come with racks for use in drying foods. I've been reading up on how to do it. It's a matter of venting the glass door to allow air circulation and a lower heat.

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  4. You cracked me up but intrigued me at the same time! What a wonder idea!!! Off to read the lens before the link self destructs!

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    1. Hope you made it before that link went up in smoke, Mandee. :-)

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  5. I am so glad you are exploring this idea and sharing with us. I'm rushing off to read the article in a second. I read about solar ovens awhile back, but thought there was no way it could be true. I've seen a recent article of someone cooking with theirs. I am starting to believe. If it really works, I might have to give it a try too.

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    1. It's for real, Dawn Rae. Solar ovens can cook almost anything as well, and many times even better, than a traditional oven. For one thing, the food doesn't burn and retains its moisture and delicious juices. I have so many recipes I can't wait to try.

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  6. Your article was truly fun and delightful to read! I am truly inspired and encouraged by all of your green living tips and advice, but since cooking is so close to my own heart, I am especially intrigued by a solar oven.

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    1. I know not everyone will be drawn to cooking with the sun, but it is something that can truly make a difference. Even if a person just cooked occasionally with a greener method, it would add up. Lots of people make sun tea without thinking about the fact that they are doing something that could potentially be taken to a whole new level.

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