Monday, February 4, 2013
The Touloum Refugee Camp is a great example of the potential success of solar cookers in remote areas. Unfortunately, solar cooking has been difficult to introduce in many rural areas due to the strong association of established cooking methods with culture, tradition and history. In every culture, cooking is rooted firmly in our conventions, & it's not surprising that it is one of the most difficult practices to change. The cold hard truth of the matter, though, is that traditional methods of cooking in places like rural Africa requires a lot of wood... & wood is something Africa is quickly running out of. The refugee camp above embraced solar cooking because they simply didn't have enough wood to sustain themselves. I hope we won't have to wait for the planet to be depleted of firewood before people realize the powerful effectiveness, simplicity & affordability of solar cooking.
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*Pat McArdle lives in Arlington, VA & has been solar cooking for many years. She is one of the country's leading experts in solar cooking and works hard to educate others about the ease & effectiveness of cooking with all different kinds of solar cookers. She has written a book, Farishta, about her experiences solar cooking in Afghanistan, which is available on Amazon. See her website for more information: http://www.patriciamcardle.com
Thursday, October 18, 2012
WE CARE Solar's Leading Man Makes the Whole Thing Possible:
Hal Aronson: Shining a light on women's health
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
This year, WE CARE Solar is in the running under Best New Charity. Winning this award would help WE CARE Solar bring their renowned Solar Suitcase to health clinics in developing countries, providing light for critical surgeries in villages with no electricity.
On the Vote page of the Classy Awards website, scroll down to the Best New Charity section (Western region) & vote for We Care Solar ~ it's that easy!
Read more about WE CARE Solar and the Solar Suitcase, & watch the video here:
Sunday, July 15, 2012
'We seek innovative ideas that can leapfrog conventional approaches in three main domains: (1) technology; (2) service delivery; and (3) “demand side” innovation that empowers women and their families to be aware of, and access, health care at the time of birth'.
The award will help WE CARE Solar bring Solar Suitcases to 200 health facilities in SW Uganda, providing crucial lighting to health workers performing critical surgical procedures in clinics without electricity. The Suitcases will also power laptop computers for continuing midwifery education, electronic data management systems, community education and advocacy.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
7 June 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Facebookers can create groups and compete against one another to see who reduces their consumption most in a month.
The idea of the app, a partnership between Facebook, OPower, the Nat'l Resources Defense Council & 15 utility companies across the nation, is to motivate people to take a better look at their energy consumption & motivate them to take action.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I'll RULE at this competition !
See the original SF Gate article here, & check out the new app here.
Friday, March 9, 2012
The super-focus of a Fresnel lens allows the temperature of the device to be easily controlled, and with it's various attachments can be used as a solar oven, stove, BBQ, food dehydrator, water heater/distiller, and even a rotisserie.
The thin, light & super-efficient Fresnel lens, originally used to distribute light in lighthouses, directs the sun onto a mirror inside the cooker's main frame, and is then directed to the chamber on the left where the cooking, heating, BBQing, etc. is done; the mini-solar panels on the right power the auto-tracker, ensuring that the solar chef never need adjust the cooker until the food or water is ready. It can even be used indoors!
Here's a video that shows how it works:
Pretty cool if you ask me!
Check out California Sunlight's website for more information.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Read more on AlertNet.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Some 280,000 Sudanese have crossed the border from Sudan into Chad since the eruption of violence in the Darfur region in 2003. Inevitably, tensions rise between these new encamped communities and the local Chadian population. Not only is competition over scarce firewood for cooking and heating a common cause of conflict between the two communities, but it also leaves women exposed to the risk of violence when they travel the ever-increasing distances necessary to collect it.
See the full article here.
Want a CooKit of your own? Check out Solar Cookers International's website & buy one for about $25!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Empowerment Society International (ESI) is a small nonprofit dedicated to empowering individuals in developing countries by promoting sustainable development in their communities. Their goal is to 'build a sustainable world, one individual at a time'. Peter Gbelia, founder and ED of ESI, together with the Foundation For Women, Liberia (FFW) and the United National Development Program's (UNDP) Global Environment Fund, are attempting to introduce highly efficient, clean cookstoves to the rural villages of Liberia.
FFW Liberia intends to distribute 700 clean charcoal cookstoves throughout Liberia in 2012. In five years, these 700 cookstoves will keep over 10,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, and over 15 kg's of black carbon (1 kg of black carbon is equivalent to 680 tones of CO2). Most importantly, FFW Liberia's project will touch over 3,500 lives, empower thousands of women, and improve the health of women and children in over 700 households while saving them from the detrimental affects of Indoor Air Pollution (IAP). The program will create over 1,000 local jobs, directly by hiring distributors and sales agents, and over 3,000 indirect jobs as we compensate community liaisons, hire transport and storage facilities, creating a vibrant economic development around the cookstove.
A $60 donation will subsidize the cost of a cookstove by 50% for 2 Liberian families, but any amount is appreciated. Donations can be made at sjedi.org, or you can join the Facebook Cause: Cookstoves for Africa. If you're not able to donate, a 'like' on Facebook and passing on information to friends and family helps a great deal.
Click here for more information on ESI's Clean Cookstove Initiative in Liberia.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Did you know that 3 billion people ~ nearly half the world's population, still rely on wood, coal, crop waste or animal dung for indoor cooking and heating? The resulting indoor air pollution contributes mightily to severe pneumonia, especially among women and young children. At 1.6 million deaths per year, garden-variety pneumonia is now the leading killer of children under 5 worldwide - more than AIDS, malaria and TB combined. According to new data published in the journal NeuroToxicology, prenatal exposure to carbon monoxide generated by indoor smoke can also have long-term effects on child IQ. The good news is this: Something as simple as an indoor stove with a smoke-reducing chimney can change this ugly picture.Vented cookstoves are key in pneumonia fight - San Bernardino County Sun
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Check it out:
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
So of course I was intrigued, because one of the biggest deterrents for the average citizen interested in 'going solar' is the upfront cost, especially if you live in a state without a significant environmental incentive program. So the solar lease seems like an intriguing alternative to the average Joe looking to reduce his (or her) carbon footprint. I delved deeper:
Here are the nuts and bolts of it:
- Home Depot has partnered with U.S. solar installation giant SolarCity to provide custom and professional panel installations on your home or business.
- Instead of buying solar panels, clients simply lease the equipment and pay as they go.
- Home Depot handles all installation-related paperwork, including permits, tax credits and coordination with power company.
- Flexible financing options and a comprehensive project price covers everything from the initial paperwork to final cleanup.
- The combination of the monthly lease payment and subsequent electricity bill is apparently less than an average utility bill.
- Savings grows as utility rates increase, and lower electricity rates are locked in for the term of the lease.
- Repairs, maintenance, monitoring and insurance are covered under the lease.
- SolarCity will pay the difference in your bill if the system does not perform as guaranteed.
- Performance is monitored daily online by SolarGuard®.
- When the lease ends, there is the option to upgrade to a new system with updated technology, extend the lease in 5 year increments, or simply have the panels removed (for free).
- If you sell your home before the lease ends, it can either be transferred to the new owners or you can pay it off and add it to the asking price.
Not a bad deal if you ask me! It's my humble opinion that leases like these, as well as community solar farms, gardens & similar allocation programs are the future of solar energy, utilizing cumulative energy sharing and payment plans to make PV systems affordable to the masses. It's an exciting time!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Through insightful instruction from working experts in the field, SEI’s PV206 workshop covers marketing and sales techniques you will need to be successful in the solar biz. Concepts discussed in detail include customer qualification, marketing strategies, creating conceptual design proposals, system costing, incentives and rebates, cost-benefit analysis, financing options, and the non-financial benefits of photovoltaic systems.
Presentations from active experts in the solar marketing & sales industry from various companies across the nation provided in-depth practical & comprehensive information about real-life situations & circumstances in the solar business field. Lectures were personal & thought-provoking, & students received valuable insider knowledge from experienced & seasoned professionals, & had a good time doin' it!
We had a well-rounded class, with an eclectic mix of solar professionals. The course was dominated by our 3 main instructors, & peppered with a variety of local & national industry moguls.
Or fun-lovin' solar instructors; Andy Black, Jeff Spies & Liz Merry.
Andy Black of OnGrid Solar directed the first 2 days of the workshop with detailed instruction on industry standards, effective sales strategies & solar marketing tactics.
Jeff Spies, of SolarSpies Training & Consulting Services in Arizona, took control of Day #3 with more sales & marketing gems.
Liz Merry, solar guru of Verve Solar Consulting, was our class director & kept things going in an orderly & mixed-up fashion.
SEI's Kris Sutton came in to give us the what's-what on OSHA guidelines & the importance of safety certifications.
We were even graced by a visit from SEI's Executive Director, Johnny Weis, who is an impressive public speaker & got us thinking about the future of solar energy & what it will mean for the good ole USA.
A powerful image.
I love this table.
And after 4.5 days on our butts in a classroom, a field trip to see the array @ the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, installed by Carbondale's own SunSense Solar, was a welcome change of pace.
An example of an 'anti-theft' nut that requires a special tool... you'd be surprised at how often panels are stolen from solar sites!
Only a fraction of the huge array that powers the Colorado Rocky Mountain School.
Thanks everyone for a fun & valuable class!