SUN OVENS INTERNATIONAL is committed to providing an alternative to cooking with wood and charcoal in deforested developing countries that have been blessed with an abundance of sunshine.
SUN OVENS® can have an enormous impact on the everyday life of millions of people by:
1. Reducing the demand on forests.
2. Reducing health hazards.
3. Improving women’s conditions
1. Forests are dwindling at a more rapid rate than ever before. One third of humanity, over 2.4 billion people, depends on wood and charcoal to prepare food and the worldwide supply of wood is rapidly decreasing. The demands of massive population growth and the inefficient conversion of wood to charcoal have outstripped much of the world’s forest’s ability to regenerate, creating a phenomenon known as deforestation.
Deforestation is the gravest environmental crisis facing the world today. Its far-reaching effects include:
- The decreasing availability of firewood.
- Removing the trees from an area is to remove its source of life. (Deforestation has left more than 25% of the continent of Africa almost useless for cultivation.)
- Forests protect the soil against erosion and reduce the risks of landslides and avalanches.
- Forests increase the rate that rainwater recharges groundwater as well as control the rate that water is released in watersheds, helping sustain freshwater supplies.
- Forests affect the climate. The occurrence and strength of floods and droughts increase when they are eliminated.
- Forests are an important source of oxygen.
- Forests store large amounts of carbon that are released when trees are cut or burned.
The use of SUN OVEN® solar ovens can eliminate the use of up to 70% of the wood which is currently being consumed for household cooking.
2. The acrid smoke from cooking fires subjects women and their children to levels of smoke that at times are often 100 times above the international safety standards. This results in 3 deaths a minute, totaling over 1.6 million deaths each year.
Bio-mass smoke has many harmful effects which can cause or contribute to:
- Acute respiratory infections (Respiratory infections are one of the world’s leading child killers. A child is two to three times more likely to contract acute lower respiratory infections when exposed to smoke than an adult.)
- Lung Cancer
- Lower birth weights
- Nervous and muscular fatigue
The use of SUN OVEN® solar ovens reduces the amount of acrid smoke from cooking fires by up to 70%.
3. In many deforested communities, the gathering of wood is no longer a simple matter. As the supply of wood decreases, women must travel great distances to find wood. Many women in developing countries must spend several hours each day collecting fuel-wood. As women and girls travel increasing distances gathering firewood, they are forced to expose themselves to greater risk of beatings and rape.
Once wood is gathered, women spend many hours stirring food. Food cooked in a SUN OVEN® does not require stirring, freeing up time for income generation and other more productive activities.
The use of SUN OVEN® solar ovens can dramatically improve the quality of life for women and girls.