The next time you turn on the stove to boil water, think about this: Between 50 and 60 percent of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — still build fires with wood and other biofuels to cook meals.
That’s a lot of trees going up in smoke — and contributing to deforestation, as well as climate change. Burning wood releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The problem is that in many poor, rural areas in places like Africa and India, trees are scarce. It takes a lot of wood to cook meals for an entire family every day, and what few wood sources there are continue to dwindle. Families have to walk for hours to collect cooking wood, and they end up spending what little money they have on their fuel, leaving less money to buy food.
The result is not only hunger, but also disease.
Another problem that can be solved by solar cooking has to do with the simple act of burning wood. Fires release pollution into the air. This smoke, filled with particulates, is bad for the environment, but it's even worse for the people who are breathing that air. When people use open fires to cook indoors, they end up inhaling microparticles that can cause all sorts of health problems, including both lung and heart disease. One estimate puts the number of people who die from this type of air pollution at 1.5 million per year [source: Madrigal]. A solar cooker eliminates the need for an open flame, meaning cleaner air.
Our solar cookers will help to solve those problems in Bunabumali - Uganda, providing the community with safe, fossil-fuel free and healthy cooking solution.