About Solar Ovens

Solar Oven Society

From Dreams To Reality – One Couple’s Journey

Mike and Martha

In the Fall of 1988, Michael and his wife Martha prayed for a project that they could work on together.

In December, the answer to their prayer was found in a newspaper article that outlined the problems that (now more than) nearly 3 BILLION people face just to cook their food.

The details included:

  • Deforestation caused by cutting down trees for fuelwood (over 50% of the trees cut globally)
  • Women breathing smoke equivalent to several packs of cigarettes a day
  • Eye disease caused by smoke from cooking fires
  • Burns from falls into open fires, clothing catching on fire, etc.
  • Up to 6-8 hours per day spent gathering scarce wood (daily or every other day)
  • Bacteria in drinking water
  • Expensive fuel – charcoal, propane, electricity
  • The article then reviewed the positive impact that solar ovens could make for a family in a sun-rich, fuel-poor country. After reading the article, they realized that this was what we wanted to work on the rest of their lives. The journey began. Now thirty plus years later, they continue to press onward passing leadership to a younger team!

Persons Helping People (PHP) established the Solar Oven Society (SOS) to promote solar cooking to the American public and to provide a way to partner with the three billion people worldwide who lack adequate fuel for cooking their food.

Persons Helping People (the sponsor of the Solar Oven Society) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1991 and based in Minnesota. Following the wishes of its first donor, Virginia Persons, PHP is dedicated to helping alleviate hunger in developing countries by helping people help themselves. In 2015 the production of the Sport solar oven transitioned to Solavore, LLC, whose mission was to bring the joy and power of solar cooking to cooks around the world.

Solavore LLC has returned the production to Persons Helping People, and the Solar Oven Society.

Our Focus

  • Encouraging Americans to use solar cookers and support a world wide solar cooking effort.
  • Production of low-cost, high-performance, durable, aesthetically-pleasing solar ovens
  • Establish multi-faceted centers in developing countries for education and training, and assembly of solar cookers
  • Demonstrations of solar cooking
  • Wholesale and retail sales
  • Financing of solar cookers via village banking systems

The parts for approximately 1,000 Sport solar cookers can be shipped in a 40-foot container. Assembly is simple and requires no electricity or dependence on large equipment. This provides employment opportunities in the host country.

SOS helps provide training for assembly and use. A local Board of Directors from the host country along with the Solar Oven Society provides oversight for the governance of the project

It's NOT Just About The Ovens.
SOS established in developing countries will:

  • Provide solar cooking
    • technology
    • demonstrations
    • training for cooking
    • training for water pasteurization
    • training for assembly
    • training for service
    • wholesale & retail sales
  • Introduce other fuel saving technologies
    • little fire stoves
    • heat retention technology (continue cooking or keeping food warm)
    • gel fuel
    • biodigesters
    • other solar technologies such as
      1. food dehydration
      2. water heating