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I have been writing, speaking about, demonstrating and testing solar cookers since 2005, when I built a small panel solar cooker and took it with me on NATO patrols through the deserts and mountains of deforested Northern Afghanistan. My goal was to show villagers (who cooked with animal dung) that it was possible for them to cook during the day without combustible fuel using only the abundant Central Asian sun for at least nine months a year.

My published writing on solar cooking includes:
--the solar cooking section of the Peace Corps Improved Cookstoves Handbook (;

--the Solar Cooker Project Best Practices Manual ( written for a Jewish World Watch-funded project in Sudanese refugee camps.

--My fictional war memoir Farishta ( published in 2011 by Penguin Books which includes solar cooking as a sub-plot.

I have served on the boards of directors of Sacramento-based Solar Cookers International and DC-based Solar Household Energy and was for three years the editor of the Solar Cooker Review, a thrice yearly newsletter. I currently serve as a volunteer member of SCI's Global Advisory Council and can attest to the years of work that have gone into the design and creation of SCI's monitoring and evaluation template which will be used by Anne's team.

If implemented in Haiti, their proposed project has the potential to significantly reduce the use of charcoal by its participants. It will also demonstrate to the participants' neighbors and customers that solar cookers, which can bake, stew and simmer food with free sunshine, can provide a zero-overhead way to generate profits for a restaurant.

I purchased my first Solavore stove from a small non-profit in Kabul, Afghanistan several months after I had started demonstrating my handmade cardboard solar cooker in the northern provinces of that country. Twelve years later, I am still cooking with that same Solavore--a testament to its remarkable durability.

Solar cooking when combined with an efficient charcoal stove (to be used only at night or on cloudy days) and a retained heat container to keep cooked food hot for hours, is the most sustainable, practical and affordable way for people in deforested, developing countries to cook. We call this the integrated cooking method. I encourage Anne and her team to teach this method to all participants.

In 1977 USAID working with the Florida Institute of Technology produced a 260 page study ( on the feasibility of introducing solar cooking technology into Haiti, which even forty years ago was already seriously deforested. The conclusion of the researchers (despite the fact that solar cooking technology in the seventies was still rather primitive) was that "Haitian conditions were found to be almost ideal for introducing solar cookers".

Good luck to Anne and her team!