Green Initiative - Solar Ovens
The Environmental Ethics class is offered each spring, and along with the midterm, final paper, and participation in class, this class requires a project that teaches us something new in the praxis of ecological living and allows us to document the new skills we have acquired. The class of Spring, 2002 was unusual in the respect that half of the students live in the East bay and commute to the San Anselmo campus for the class. Some students living on campus wanted to learn how to make compost and to garden. But others had significant experience in both and wanted to take other steps to limit their emissions of greenhouse gasses. These latter students opted to learn to make solar ovens.

The impetus to make solar ovens seemed to come from three directions:
  1. To overcome some fear of technology and learn an "appropriate" technology
  2. To have a direct experience of the sun as a source of cooking energy
  3. To explore whether such a portable cooking device might be offered to agencies who directly serve homeless people in the bay area, and to people in other countries who depend solely on vanishing wood supplies for cooking and boiling water
I was skeptical. The project had an aura of summer camp to me. But some reports included here (Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler - Tina Ballagh) indicate the solar ovens might be genuinely useful.

Additional Resources:
Doug's Low Tech Site
The Solar Cooking Archive
Solar Cooking and Food Preparation
Sun Ovens International Inc.


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