Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect: Announcing a New Way to Reduce Greenhouse Gases this Summer via Solar Power Cooking and Solar Ovens

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Global Warming and Environmental Protection Tip - Solar cooking with a solar oven is an energy-efficient, pollution-free way to help fight global warming and the greenhouse effect, while enjoying summer barbecues. A reliable solar oven or solar BBQ can be built from everyday materials in just a few hours or purchased ready made. Solar power ovens can be used to prepare anything that can be made in a conventional oven or stove. Solar ovens allow you to do it all, without contributing to global warming or heating up the kitchen and placing additional demands on cooling systems.

Global warming and the greenhouse effect isn't just for the oil and car companies to solve. Each individual can now make a difference.

Solar cooking with a solar oven is a clean, energy-efficient way to help fight global warming and take advantage of nature's free, inexhaustible energy supply. (See "Cook with Solar Ovens" at As the world's nonrenewable sources of energy vanish or contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer, the need to adopt clean, renewable sources of power grows ever more critical. Solar energy is such a source, and solar ovens harness it.

Solar ovens are the perfect summer cookout accessory. Available in many sizes and configurations, solar ovens can be purchased through a wide variety of outlets on the Internet, or from catalogs and retail outlets that carry environmentally friendly products. People everywhere are discovering the joys of solar cooking, whether they’re throwing a neighborhood backyard cookout, preparing everyday meals, rustling up dinner on a camping trip, or taking their solar oven on the road in their RV.

Some people want a more "hands on" experience and build their own solar oven. A simple yet highly effective box cooker can be made from inexpensive, ordinary materials—a few cardboard boxes, some white glue, black spray paint, and aluminum foil—and assembled in less time than it takes to watch a summer rerun.

The simplicity of this solar oven design can be deceiving: cardboard holds heat just as well as heavier, more expensive materials, and is much easier to work with. Many people report that their cardboard solar ovens last as long as ten years. Children and adults alike can get satisfaction not only from creating a working solar oven but also from knowing that they’re taking an environmentally responsible action.

Solar ovens can be used to cook foods that are normally prepared in conventional ovens or stoves -- from bread to corn on the cob to spare ribs to kabobs -- without heating up the planet or the kitchen. But they do heat up: despite their simple design, most solar ovens can reach a temperature of 300 degrees F or higher, depending on the number and size of the reflectors used.

One misconception about solar ovens is that continuous sunlight is necessary for food to cook properly. As long as the solar oven is exposed to 20 minutes of sun per hour (when using a box cooker), food will continue to cook. Many people use their solar ovens like a crock pot: they put their dinner in a pot, place it in the solar oven, and their food is ready at the end of the work day. Other techniques can be used to prepare foods more quickly.

The significant contribution to global warming ( by the United States and other major energy-consuming nations highlights the need for pollution-free alternatives to ozone-depleting technology. Solar ovens are just one part of the alternative energy picture, but one that is safe, fun, and accessible to a great many people.

Why depend on fossil fuels when the clean, inexhaustible energy of the sun is readily available and can be used to help preserve the integrity of the planet. For information on where to get free plans and detailed instructions on how to build a solar oven, and for more ideas on ways to enjoy cooking with a solar oven, see "Cook with a Solar Oven" at Bon appetit!

Charity Guide ( is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting flexible volunteerism by inspiring and facilitating acts of kindness. For more information about opportunities to make a difference for the environment, please visit our website

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Michael Organ
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