To celebrate “Giving Tuesday” a women-owned social enterprise is offering to donate one Solavore Sport solar oven to one of their aid programs in India, Cambodia or Kenya for a limited time when backers purchase one for a special price of $145 through the Indiegogo campaign page – which represents a 45% discount on the usual price.
Solavore’s mission is to promote clean-cooking technology around the world through their product the Solavore Sport oven which has been purpose built by solar energy executives from 3M Corp. and the University of Arizona. Profits from the sale of the ovens will be used to keep the enterprise independent and self-sustaining while providing clean cooking alternatives to the world’s 3 billion people who still cook from open fires.
Solavore is an active member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves and Solar Cookers International and has deployed over 20,000 ovens in 60 countries. They have recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $40,000 and have raised nearly $7,500 so far.
The Solavore sport oven uses 100% renewable energy and every solar oven purchased at normal retail price helps to fund a Salvatore Sport somewhere in the world where an open fire is still the main kitchen appliance. These are distributed by Solavore Works, Solavore’s corporate social responsibility program; replacing open fires with a Solavore Sport can aid respiratory health, reduce deforestation, save on energy expenditure and allow girls to attend school by freeing them from the burden of collecting firewood.
“As a social enterprise, our approach to poverty reduction is more in terms of enabling opportunity and less in terms of aid,” says Anne Patterson, CEO. “Not just a source of clean food, we expect these ovens to help their owners develop goods to sell in the marketplace, and local assembly of ovens creates jobs as does the sales, distribution, and support of new ovens.”
The oven is made of rugged, durable, lightweight injection-molded nylon resin and enables family-size year round cooking. A water pasteurisation indicator adds clean water to its list of strengths. Even without sunlight the oven can be used with a small wood burning stove and still save energy and only requires 30 minutes of sunshine per hour to maintain temperatures meaning it is protected against passing clouds. It’s mobile and can be taken on trips, its makers say; they also believe that the oven can reduce a family’s fuel consumption by up to 80%.
Alongside other rewards such as silk scarves from Cambodia, yoga retreats and various accessories the campaign’s best perk is “BOGO” – buy one give one. By purchasing a Solavore Sport oven for your family, you are enabling another to be present where it most needed in India Cambodia or Kenya.
The oven is best for slow cooking and cooking with pots so is being trialled in countries that tend towards a rice based rather than a fried food diet. Sunlight enters the oven and its dark interior pots and lids absorb light which transforms the sun’s energy into heat.
Solavore are working with Hand in Hand India self-help groups and microfinance programs empowering over 1 million women in in ten countries throughout Asia and Africa. Another partner, the Big Life Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of African wild lands and wildlife and improving lives in the Maasai Mara villages in which they are posted.
Solavore founder Anne Patterson comes from a hi-tech background having worked at Hewlett=Packard and alongside Steve Jobs during his time at NeXT Computer. She describes herself as “an all-round renaissance woman and is a solar cooking evangelist.