A solar oven (or solar cooker) can have an enormous impact on the everyday life of millions of people across the world by:
1. Reducing the demand on forests which are being destroyed.
2. Reducing health hazards.
3. Improving women’s conditions.
Forests are dwindling at an alarming rate. Over 2.4 billion inhabitants depend on wood and charcoal to prepare food. To get that wood, trees have to be chopped down.
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.