Last updated: 23 June 2016
One Earth Designs (OED) is a social enterprise located in Boston, Massachusetts, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Xining, western China. OED is an environmental technology company collaborating with Himalayan communities to promote environmental health and incubate local innovation and entrepreneurship. One of their primary projects is the SolSource, a portable, affordable, parabolic-type solar concentrator. It has been designed to cook, generate electricity, and heat materials for space heating. It can also be dismantled as quickly as a hiking tent and transported from home to field for the mid-day meal. Other work includes research into low-cost water testing, heat-retaining phase-change technology, and general support of education initiatives in the Himalayan Plateau.
OED has been widely recognized for its innovation by such prestigious awards as: the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, U.S. EPA’s People, Prosperity & the Planet Award, MIT’s IDEAS and $100K Social Entrepreneurship Competitions, the Muhammad Yunus Innovation Award, and the Lemelson Foundation’s International Technology Award.
- January 2016: One Earth Designs featured in Huffington Post: "How Do You Fight The World's 'Largest Environmental Health Problem'? Harness The Sun."
- June 2015: Chef José Andrés demos solar cooking at Bite conference in Silicon Valley - World-renowned chef and solar cooking advocate, José Andrés, held a solar cooking demonstration at the Bite conference in Silicon valley using several SolSource ovens, a popular parabolic solar cooker developed by One Earth Designs. Chef Andrés' goal was to convey the importance of clean cooking technology, especially in developing countries where the availability of cooking fuel is limited and respiratory disease from cooking indoors is prevalent. During the conference, Chef Andrés spoke to attendees about increasing investment is clean cooking technology development.
- October 2014: Norwegian start-up tackles heat storage for solar cookers - Guro Seim, CEO of Morpho Solar, announced a breakthrough in the heat storage capabilities for solar cookers. They hope to have a production model ready within a year and a half. The breakthrough was recognized with a $8,000 USD award from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy this past August. The company will begin selling the cooker in Europe, and under an agreement with Cambridge, Mass.-based One Earth Designs in the United States. Read more...
- August 2013: One Earth Designs successfully concluded its Kickstarter campaign to promote the SolSource solar cooker, raising a total of $142,413 out of a goal of $43,000 (331% of the goal) and meeting three stretch goals, with 507 people backing the project. Delivery of the cookers will happen in October 2013. Kickstarter page
- June 2013: One Earth Designs aligned with Kickstarter to promote the SolSource parabolic solar cooker. An article in gizmag explains that those wishing to help this fledgling company are offered the opportunity to purchase a cooker for $249 USD, with free shipping in the continental USA. The projected retail price will be $399 USD, so this was a great way to help them out, and get a great deal. More information...
- April 2013: Solar cooking advocate, Pat McArdle, and John Linquist of One Earth Designs, demonstrated the companies' SolSource parabolic cooker at the National Sustainable Design Expo., held each year in April on the Washington D.C. mall. John had the opportunity to demonstrate the cooker to Jacob Moss, senior State Department coordinator for the Clean Cookstove Initiative. EPA officials who were running the expo. told us the the SolSource is their greatest success story.
- November 2012: One Earth Designs (OED) introduces their new parabolic solar cooker - Working with rural communities in western China, One Earth Designs, a Beijing/Hong Kong-based company, founded by Americans Catlin Powers and Scot Frank, has developed the SolSource, a portable parabolic solar cooker designed for use by nomadic communities. The SolSource can boil a liter of water in ten minutes. Durable and weather resistant materials ensure a longer lifespan. It has a total weight of 18 kilos including a sturdy base design capable of withstanding the high winds typically encountered in the Himalayas.
- February 2011: A photo of a recent version of the SolSource parabolic cooker.
- February 2011: A team led by inventor Scot Frank has landed a spot in an entrepreneurial boot camp hosted by a group called the Unreasonable Institute. With the help of sixty world-class investors and entrepreneurs at this summer’s institute in Boulder, Colo., Frank hopes to bring the SolSource stove to a mass market. Worldwide, pollution from combustion stoves used indoors sickens and kills more than 1 million every year. Many victims are children. More Information...
- September, 2010: The SolSource solar oven wins 500K EU in the Green Challenge. Once again the SolSource has impressed the jury, and won the Dutch, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge award is a startup competition run by the Dutch Postcode Lottery with 500,000 EU ($666,200 US) up for grabs for the winner and 200,000 EU ($260,500 US) for the runner-up. All entries must have the potential to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in a measurable fashion. From an impressive field of young entrepreneurs, the jury chose 25-year old Scot Frank of One Earth Designs as the winner for his company’s SolSource solar oven. The SolSource 3-in-1 combination is a solar cooker, heater, and electricity generator. It was inspired by the time Frabj spent in the Himalayas (the product has been tested there for 3 years), where women spend many hours a day collecting dung and wood fuels for cooking and heating. This process leads to deforestation, and many tribes in the Himalayas are rapidly running out of their traditional fuel sources. Families also breathe toxic indoor air pollution from the fire. Indoor air pollution is one of the world’s biggest killers of children under five, claiming 1.6 million lives per year. More Information...
Articles in the media
- May 2016: SolSource solar cooker offers a fast, low-carbon option for home cooking - treehugger
- May 2016: This Solar-Powered Cooker Is Actually Saving People’s Lives - Huffington Post Tech UK
- January 2016: How Do You Fight The World's 'Largest Environmental Health Problem'? Harness The Sun - Huffington Post
- August 2015: How to charge your phone in the great outdoors - CNBC
- December 2014: Solar Power Can Provide Hot Meals for the Masses - National Geographic
- June 2014: Now They're Cooking: SolSource Harnesses the Himalayan Sun - Policy Innovations
- October 2013: Solar-powered cooker puts local clean energy start-up on the global map - South China Morning Post
- August 2013: Removing indoor pollution: Researcher helps create sun-powered solution to toxic air in many lands - Harvard Gazette
- July 2013: Solar stove with humble beginnings in Himalayas is now in Utah - The Salt Lake Tribune
- June 2013: Solar Cooking Cuts Rural Dependency on Biomass Fuels - Laboratory Equipment
- January 2011: Young Utah engineer tackles world’s toughest problems - The Salt Lake Tribune
- August 2009: Research Projects for People Prosperity and the Planet - EPA
- June 2009: Global Service Blog - Change.Org
- June 2009: Seed Grant Awards - Legatum Center
- May 2009: SolSource 3-in-1: An Alternative Energy Solution - WordChanging
- May 2009: The SolSource Wins, 2009 - St Andrews Prize for the Environment
- April 2009: 2009 Awards - MIT IDEAS
- April 2009: SolSource Demonstration - Discovery Channel Daily Planet Interview
- March 2009: One Earth Designs - Make Magazine Blog
- October 2008: Five to Watch - Featured in Boston Globe
- July 2008: Utah native utilizing sun's rays in Asia - Deseret News
- June 2008: Harnessing the Tibetan sun - MIT News
- June 2008: How MIT made harnessing sun easier in Tibet - Mangalorean
Audio and video
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- See Catlin Powers.