By Jody McCutcheon
What’s better than barbecuing a sumptuous, summer meal to perfection? Barbecuing it to perfection with zero emissions! Meet the SolSource grill, a fossil-fuel–free, Himalayan-nomad–tested (honestly) grill that harnesses the sun’s energy to ’cue up your favourite summer selections. No electronics involved, no worries about propane running out or charcoal taking forever to heat up, no air pollution and no charcoal-linked carcinogen risk.
The SolSource is essentially a four-foot–wide solar panel shaped like a satellite-dish pizza with a slice missing, through which the chef performs. The solar dish reflects and focuses the sunlight on a particular point, i.e., the place where the fry pan goes. Versatility is key, as the SolSource allows food to be grilled, steamed, baked, broiled or fried. Himalayan nomads know this, just as they know the technology can withstand wind-, sand- and snowstorms, not to mention minus-40 degree temperatures.
The eco-stats are impressive: sustainably manufactured, 100% recyclable, emission-free. According to SolSource data, every grill purchased offsets the carbon footprints of four Americans. Not surprising, considering that (according to more SolSource data) last year’s US 4th of July barbecues produced more carbon dioxide in one day than some African countries do in a year. In 2012, sustainable manufacturing practices allowed SolSource to be granted certified B Corp status.
A Kickstarter campaign is promoting the grill for $249 until October ($399 after) in hopes of increasing economies of scale and ultimately lowering prices for those inhabitants of developing countries who most need affordable—and eco-friendly—cooking appliances.
Whether you want to pop corn or grill salmon, just aim the SolSource at the sun and you’re ready to go. It’s a hot idea that’s well done, all the way through.