How Catlin Powers Uses Solar Cooking to Combat Deforestation and Indoor Air Pollution

Dr. Catlin Powers, a social entrepreneur, is the co-founder and CEO of One Earth Designs, a social enterprise that produces solar cookers. up.

The daughter of two teachers, she grew up in many places around the world: Peru, Mexico, China, South Africa, and California. Dr. Powers received her doctorate from Harvard University, holds two solar energy patents, and serves on the technical advisory committee to the International Standards Organization.

A Harvard School of Public Health graduate, she went to the Himalayas as an undergraduate to study climate change. She found that due to smoke from fires, the air quality in the homes there was 10 times worse than the air in Beijing. She also learned that the local people were deforesting the area for their fuel.

From this experience, One Earth Designs was born. One Earth Designs, the creator of the SolSource solar cooker, is a socially responsible company.

One Earth Designs is B CORP certified. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. One Earth Designs also holds the fourth highest score ever awarded by the Global Impact Rating System (GIIRS).

Dr Powers advice to budding social entrepreneurs:

ONE:

If you have co-founders, your relationship with them means everything about the success or failure of your company. Fighting is fine and natural, but you have to respect each other and know how to communicate effectively.

TWO:

Take the time to stop and think about the bigger context of your work, and make sure that you are still building toward the world you want to live in the future.

THREE:

Remember to sleep.

With the SolSource solar cooker, you can cook delicious meals in 10 minutes. It’s easy-to-use, has zero carbon emissions and is 100% solar powered. The price you pay for SolSource helps fund the cooker in developing countries.

What started as a project with Nomadic families in the Himalayas has expanded to projects in Africa, Asia and Latin-America, and we are fighting global energy poverty and bringing cleaner air to families around the world.

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I was fired from my first job and after 10 years working at WebMD I had an epiphany while in Costa Rica. I started my second business, Change Creator, to help early-stage social entrepreneurs grow a profitable impact business through our signature program, Captivate, magazine and podcast. To date, I've had the privilege of talking with people such as Jay Shetty, Seth Godin, Muhammad Yunus, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and so many great minds.
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