News and recent developments
- November 2006: Ulrich Zimmermann wrote to describe his experiences with solar cooking during vacations in the Alps mountains. He takes two cookers on his trips. He uses a small solar box cooker, designed by Group ULOG of Switzerland, for cooking meals at the Alpine cottage where he stays. The cooker is placed so that the broad eaves of the cottage protect it from rain, but allow the sunshine to reach the cooker’s window. Zimmermann also uses a solar CooKit, which he carries on hikes. Partway to his destination he sets up the CooKit and starts the meal cooking. He then continues hiking, and on the return trip he arrives back at the CooKit to find a tasty, hot lunch waiting for him. Zimmermann cooks his food in glass jars that are wrapped in aluminum foil. The outside surface of the foil is painted black to absorb the sunlight and heat the jars. Canning jars and lids are recommended because they release excessive steam pressure if needed. Alternatively, poke a small hole in the lid or leave it slightly loose. Zimmermann says that his trips to the Alps also testify to the importance of solar and other alternative energy sources to reduce greenhouse gasses and climate change. "In the Alps," he says, "you can’t avoid looking at the damage. … All the glaciers around have lost much of their length in the last decades by man-made climate change."