Climate Healers is a non-profit corporation based in San Ramon, California formed to combat the climate crisis. They are working towards a solution to global climate change based on the observation that if one-sixth of the ice-free land area of the earth is reforested, then world CO2 emissions would likely become negative. Reforestation is a major part of their work. They also work to combat further deforestation in areas where the demand is high for wood and charcoal used for cooking.
They see solar cooking as an important alternative cooking method to help save remaining forests. Typically, in areas where severe deforestation has already occurred and where, fortunately, sunshine is abundant. Their initial projects have taken place in India. They have used butterfly style parabolic solar cookers produced in China. The parabolic cookers provide the focused heat necessary in baking the traditional roti.
As has been experienced by other groups wishing to introduce solar cooking to areas currently using wood stoves, thorough training is necessary, as well as a follow-up program. Recruiting local residents to become trainers and mentors for the community has historically been a successful strategy. Climate Healers, however, has taken the innovative approach by creating an incentive based system incorporating cell phone use. Their solution is to provide solar cookers with integrated charging stations, along with cell phones and LED lights at no cost to members of the community. The cell phones are configured to measure the usage of the cookers as they get charged, and then rewards are issued in the form of cell phone talk time proportional to the usage.
Technology is used extensively to ensure transparency of the whole process. Cell phones are used as the communications medium since their signals are ubiquitous even in remote regions of the world. Satellite imagery and independent certification is used to verify growth of the forest regions. The forest growth and the cooker usage will also be monitored by campus Climate Healers clubs associated with schools and universities. The technology underlying our operation is being developed in conjunction with IDEA in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Recent news and developments
- March 2011: Challenge: Make a solar cookstove that works at night Climate Healers appeal to various groups and institutions - Engineering for Change
- May 2011: Climate Healers continue in their effort to develop a stored energy solar cookstove for India's rural population. They worked with Innovative Design Engineering Animation of Ahmedabad, India, and a student team from the University of Iowa, USA. Village residents typically spend their days working in the fields, and return at 6 p.m. to prepare the evening meal of baked roti and lentil dahl. A recently completed study of possible solar stoves that can provide cooking temperatures in the evening, or even in the morning, demonstrates that solutions may be possible but will invairably be expensive. Talks have begun with the government of India to provide financial assistance for equipment fabrication once a suitable design is developed and proven practical. Read details of the Stored Energy Solar Cookstove for Rajasthan, India.
- March 2011: Challenge: Make a solar cookstove that works at night - Engineering for Change
- March 2011: The Hawkeye Solar Cooker: presented by the University of Iowa College of Engineering in conjunction with The University of California, Berkeley and Climate Healers- Engineering for Change
- May 2011: Stored Energy Solar Cookstove for Rajasthan, India: University of California, Berkeley in collaboration with the students from the University of Iowa - Engineering for Change
- Climate Healers: Stored Energy Solar Cook Stove, 2/12
- Project Report 8/10, (Extending solar cooking times) - engineeringforchange.org
- The Solar Cookstove for North India
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