Making Sustainable Living Fun, Convenient, and Safe

After sailing more than 40 thousand nautical kilometers and into 14 countries on Unreasonable at Sea, we ported in Spain for our culminating event. The technology companies who sailed around the world with us had 6 minutes to share the story of their company to hundreds of people packed into an auditorium in Barcelona. This is one of those talks.

The entrepreneur in this video is Catlin Powers of One Earth Designs – Harnessing the sun to bring clean energy to three billion people.

Company Description in 100 Words or Less

There is one fuel that is clean, abundant and affordable. The sun.  Tweet This Quote

One Earth Designs harnesses the sun to bring clean energy to three billion people who lack access to clean fuels. Our SolSource S1 has been selected as the top performing parabolic solar cooker in the world by third party auditors and our SolSource S2 is the world’s first temperature adjustable solar cooker. Our products save lives, reduce carbon emissions, save time for women, and save money for families.

One Earth Designs’ innovative work has been recognized by the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, MIT $100K, Clinton Global Initiative, and Yunus Innovation Challenge.

Visit the One Earth Designs website .

Major Milestones:

  • Sold 800 SolSource S1s within two months of product launch
  • First Certified B Corp in China
  • Forbes “30 Under 30” Social Enterprise
  • Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Winner
  • St Andrews Prize for the Environment Winner
  • EPA People, Prosperity, and the Planet Winner
  • Lemelson Foundation International Technology Award
  • Recipient of three MIT IDEAS Awards
  • Muhammad Yunus Innovation Award
  • Hong Kong Innovation Technology Commission SERAP fund awardee
  • MIT $100K Emerging Markets Track Winner
  • Featured on the BBC
  • Featured on Discovery Channel
  • Featured in The New York Times, Popular Science, Wired, and Make

Video That Demonstrates the Product:

About the author

Unreasonable Media

Unreasonable Media

As a company, Unreasonable Media is dedicated to leveraging the power of stories to shift paradigms and solve problems. That's why we have made almost all the videos you see on this site. Long story short, we are not your average production company. Visit our site to see for yourself.

  • BartuchGR11

    Thank you for posting this blog. I found this blog very interesting because I never realized that the stoves that the people in Western China had produced so much air pollution. The statistic you gave that the air these people were breathing was ten times more polluted than the air in Beijing, China was astonishing. I agree that the SolSource S1 was a great invention and I love that it is providing many people with a lot cleaner air. Hopefully we can continue to perfect this stove to make it even better than it is right now.

  • amandatwolf

    This is so inspiring! In my eyes, she embodies exactly what entrepeneurship is supposed to be. Seeing a problem in the world and using innovation and technology to find a smart solution. The fight against climate change is going to require unprecedented amounts of human innovation and creativity and the SolSource solar cookers are a perfect example of the types of creative solutions we are capable of. Keep it up!

  • Chris Williams

    I think this is very cool that you can invent a stove like the SolSource S1! I never knew that the stoves that people were using in Western China caused so much pollution in their homes. I really believe that this new stove will be evolutionary in the result of saving life’s and reducing pollutions in homes. Another thing I like is the cool deign of the solar stove. It looks computable and looks high tech. If I had a question it would be what long term goals for this stove? How much will this stove help the pollution problem?

  • Isaac Sawatzky

    This is a great example of people using higher technology to solve an age old problem. It is interesting to contrast this example with an older post on Unreasonable that was all about using low- tech to solve our everyday problems. I am very excited to see what this combination of ideals holds for the future. This technology seems like a fairly simple concept of collecting solar energy that has been around for quite a while. Though they have progressed the idea into a very specific task and very specific context. I think the fact that they are starting in an area of great need, is something that can be applied to many other budding fields of research.

  • byrnesbk24

    I saw a similar post about creating safer, less pollution, more effect stoves for third world countries. Its great that there are more and more companies out there that are willing and able to help less fortunate people around the world. Something most of us take for granted, making a meal, others work so hard to do at the cost of there health and safety. Its nice to know something is being done to help!!!

  • Jessica Walker

    This is an incredible invention! I have always seen solar panels, but never really thought much about them. The sun is something we sometimes take for granted that we have; however like you said, it is a free and clean energy source. It is wonderful that this can be used for so many things and you all went out to find a way to help improve other people’s lives. Not only saving money, but saving their environment, and quality of life. I hope that this can continue to spread, especially for the low-income areas to help enhance their life. What types of areas are you looking to go to next with this invention? How much do these cost?

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting a such an awesome video! Its amazing to see that this invention is help saving lives all around the world with using something as unique as the sun! Not only is it affordable to people with low income but it is saving their environment as well! This is something that will be world wide very soon! My only question is how much do they cost?

  • John Darrow

    I think this innovation seems efficient and lifestyle altering. Thank you for sharing it. The presenter really sells this product well and relates it to not only low income families but all families in the world. That’s important because if it’s simple and affordable, people will spend the little extra to do something good for the environment. I think this product is great and that it will only become more consumed around the world over time.

  • Alyssa Borgrud

    I agree that this product is very innovative! With the fact that it relates to using the sun, it makes the product more green which results in a greener planet. I also would be curious to know how much this would cost. If made is small production, Im sure that the price is high but if they start mass producing them in higher quantities I bet the price would drop dramatically. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a hit product in the future!

  • Katie Ackerman

    This is so awesome! You have taken being an entrepreneur to a new level. You found a need and used technology to solve it. If more people could do this exact thing, the world would most certainly be going in a different direction. It really is eye opening to me, the amount of pollution that Western China produces. Keep up the good work. Do you have any ideas for the future?

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Thank you, Caitlin, for sharing your heartfelt blog with us.
    It’s amazing how our brains work. Another
    article I read is very similar to this one, talking about saving lives, reducing pollution, spending quality family
    time together, saving forests, saving money, and being less messy. I have a question for you. What about
    locations that have sunshine less than 50% of the time?

    I would like to add, many people do not realize that trees
    suffer the stress just like us. So let
    me say that the trees and animals want to thank you!

    ~Tree Hugger~

  • lex_alwaysMIA

    I wonder the same thing is there some type of project green? With the population at an all-time high, how does that work? They need to find a way to establish a better plan especially in sustainability. There are several issues this country is facing and it seems there is no plan. I believe with the proper advantages in technology things will improve

  • Drew Cox

    Thanks Catlin for sharing this video. We constantly ask ourselves how can we help out. We jump to a quick solution without figuring out al the bugs. We see this everyday with the iPhones also. The presenter seems very passionate about her product and delivers it with confidence. We must constantly come up with innovations to save lives, and keep our natural resources alive and plentiful! Thanks again for the article and short video clip

  • sarahbrooks

    Thank you for sharing your article. It
    is amazing how something can make the earth so clean and sustainable.
    This product is a perfect way to help the earth and people become
    better and healthier. I think that its great how this can apply to
    any country out there! Do you think the SolSource S1 will become more

  • LevenhagAL14

    Your story is truly inspiring! I always enjoy seeing sustainability articles on this website. I have to ask though, as a sophomore in college, was this your first experience traveling outside of the country to work on a project like this? Also, what do you feel is most important for young adults to consider when it comes to working towards sustainability?

  • Brandon

    Thanks for the article!!! its nice seeing inspiring things like this to help earth stay so clean. Its crazy to see that many people die from breathing smoke from their stoves. We need to help save these people from breathing horrible smoke. I like that we can save up to $50 and that it can save energy. How many countries do to hope sell these too?

  • DrivenbySuccess

    I agree this article really helps understand sustainability.I am always trying to find sustainability in things and I too have the question you asked. In college it is hard to discover that but I mean there has to be some way of working towards it.

  • Ashley Nicole Rietbrock

    Thank you for sharing this amazing invention I think it is really great and should save millions of lives. Its shocking how many people in the world are dying in the world from breathing in smoke from the stove. I think this is a great idea and will help so many people in the world. I just have a couple of questions. In the video it said you can cook on them, will this make the food taste different? Also, these going to be just in certain countries or all over the world? Thank you again for sharing this with us it is truly amazing what people can come up with.

  • vitalecm03

    This article is really intriguing!! Also very inspiring, little by little I try to do as much as I can to save this place we call home. I know deep down that this will be the next biggest thing to help save the planet! Thank you for this and I will pass this on to everyone I know!

  • lepkowskjj29

    I believe this also could be a major step in the right direction in saving the planets. Every little bit counts and will help in the long run.

  • Palecekb

    This is so cool! I had no idea that activities such as cooking could bring so much harm to people. This invention seems convenient, safe, environment friendly, and durable. I do wonder though are they unable to cook on days with overcast or dark skies? If so do they make alternative meals that require no cooking?

  • Keiichi

    I knew that air condition in china is not good, however i was surprised that many people in china are dying by smoking from stove. Therefore, the idea of using solar system to provide energy for people makes better living environment in china, also it helps to protect our future environment as well.

  • MeierKM23

    This I really cool. Hearing that China’s air is not very good throughout the years makes me take the fresh air we have over here in the United States for granted. Some of the inventions and creations I see here on the Unreasonable website are so fascinating and this is another one I have come along to. I hope this continues to help people over in China and the environment as a whole as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Janna Bartels

    WOW! This is so cool! I hope One Earth Designs is able to continue their research and designing! I love hearing about technology that uses natural resources like the sun. I don’t know much about solar energy so how does it work when it is cloudy? Does it work better when there is direct sunlight?

  • duongh1

    This product looks really good. However, the whole solar cooker system seems bulky and furthermore, it won’t work on rainy days.

  • GraceFelion

    Wow! What an amazing story and product! Before this website I never gave thought to how much pollution comes from everyday cooking but now I am aware and intrigued. In high school I had to create a solar cooker and while I certainly tried, there’s no way it was as good as this. I’m curious to see more about how portable it is because it looks rather large but I suppose it would be difficult to make much smaller. I definitely will keep an eye on this company to see what it comes up with next!

  • WolfgramKA06

    Thank you for this video! It’s great to see how determined she was to find a solution. I’ve always wondered about how products are made in other countries in order to fit their lifestyles while making the product affordable and efficient. By looking at all of the company’s success, it’s great to see what has all been accomplished. What other products have been made? Can anyone purchase these products?

  • laurenkraft

    I had to make a solar cooker in high school too! Needless to say after watching this video made it look like a complete fail haha. I never knew how much pollution came from just simply cooking. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this product!

  • kolinjk29

    Wow this looks like a really great product that could be used in other countries. I never realized how much pollution is given off during cooking and how serious it can be for people and their health. This website has really intrigued me to explore some of these devices and to see what they really can do for people. It’s wonderful that One Earth Designs are creating these products for people that are in need of them while cutting down on energy and pollution while saving lives of others. A question I would want to ask is since you will be using these products to cook will the food taste or texture be altered?

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this video. This is a great idea. I have never heard of these before but they seem to be helping low income people all over the world. It is amazing that doing such a small thing can change someone’s life in many ways. They are able to breathe in regular air and not the fumes that they were breathing in before this solar panel. It is great to see that this company is being very successful and they are still continuing to rise in success. A question that I have
    for you is can anyone buy this product?

  • clemonsel02

    This video is wonderful and shows you the reality of life in other countries and how there is always a way to make a cheaper, better, and more useful product to help this less fortunate. These better technologies help the small people, the people that do not have what we have have in already developed countries. I did the fact that you can cook just from the sun and take away expensive coal is helping developing counties in so many more ways then people think. I took from this video that by striving you can change the world it might be slowly but it is an reality. I think everyone can benefit from this video by seeing that you are saving lives and making benefit for the long run. I was wondering how long do these devices work? Could it be pasted down through the generations?

  • Taylor Schulz

    This is amazing! Thanks so much for posting. I love watching articles like these and learning about all of the amazing innovations that are being start up by entrepreneurs. It is great to know that something so simple and abundant as energy from the sun can do so much to help with air pollution. Im curious to see how this project unravels in the future and how many lives it will change. Once again, thank you for posting this article I really enjoyed it!!

  • Amy Rink

    I had the exact same thought! I always knew china’s air was bad to not to that extent. If everyone could use the solar system to provide their energy it would not only benefit them but it would benefit the country as a whole.

  • altruax0

    This is incredibly cool. I didn’t realize that this was a
    problem in China among as other countries. Now I wonder if our ovens are any
    better. This reminds me of a solar cooking project in grade school where we cooked food in a foil box using the sun. This invention is awesome and I hope this
    will make life a bit better in other countries. The second video shows this as
    a perfect tool for barbecues without having to burn anything.

  • brandon bell

    This was all new to me and really enjoyed this. Why can’t I power everything by the sun its produce live long before we were around and you would think that it could be a main source of power now. If we could produce affordable units for the top for house how much energy could we put back into the grid? Really enjoyed your work can’t wait to see what comes next.

  • Catey Navarro

    I agree! I love that help is being given to those in desperate need but it should be shared with others too! Imagine the money and resources that could be saved if this was brought to the US. I think it would impact so many and help us reduce our potency.

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for sharing this video, this was so interesting and something I would definitely love to use! It’s nice to see that people in poorer parts of the world are so positively affected by ideas like this. So many natural resources can be saved by this sort of energy producer and I think it should be integrated into the worlds population as much as possible.

  • Mizu4TheWin

    Seeing as I live in Arizona, I constantly wonder why more people don’t use solar power. I mean, we probably have the most sun bearing down on us than the rest of the country. I’d like to see this come here and make a huge difference.

  • Zintia Martinez

    This is going fast. As she said in the near future we will be full of innovative products that will change people’s lives. One thing I want to mention is that how people with the desire to help other flies to the place that really need the kind of product they are working on. I can see how this will create an impact when advertising in the future and how this will help them to share data to new clients. Excellent job.

  • Kyle moore

    I agree with the Arizona statements because myself living in the Midwest we do get sun almost daily but the temperature of the heat waves are much less especially in the later parts of the year. I believe that if a plan of creating a system to provide power from states or countries closer to the equator(which have higher heat waves) that that system can flourish and help the countries and states that may be further away and have to use other natural fossil fuels.

  • Beniamin Martis

    I believe going solar is one of the best ideas, better energy technology is good for everybody, the problem is that its expensive for those people to afford the technology..they need something way cheaper that can sustain their needs. but great idea.

  • Britt27LaM

    I feel that this is an issue for the whole world! the sun is such an amazing resource that we don’t use enough. The fact that she has made this product affordable to those in China and helped with the air pollution is amazing! I can’t wait to see what more is to come.

  • silena_eve

    What a great idea! Like was said, I believe this idea will end up replacing barbecues and much more in the future. Its time people embraced the sun for its power and cleanliness. The idea has been around for a long time now, but people are not using it to its fullest potential yet. Hopefully this product will reintroduce the green energy of the sun once again! Great idea, and great cause.

  • l2yza

    Not going to lie this didn’t have me until the end. I see a lot of draw backs with it as far as just being a cooking device goes. However, if it can be adapted to also provide electricity that is a truly revolutionary product.
    On a side note, indoor air pollution really needs more light shined on it. I wasn’t even aware it was a thing until I had to start posting on this page for a class.

  • Abby2017

    China has so much air pollution and you can hardly see the mountains anymore because of it. I think that having the product being affordable in China is a great thing.

  • kolinjk29

    Wow this looks like a really great product that could be used in other countries. I never realized how much pollution is given off during cooking and how serious it can be for people and their health. This website has really intrigued me to explore some of these devices and to see what they really can do for people. It’s wonderful that One Earth Designs are creating these products for people that are in need of them while cutting down on energy and pollution while saving lives of others. A question I would want to ask is since you will be using these products to cook will the food taste or t

  • stret480

    I really like that community knowledgy and testing was used to develop the product. This is the most valuable knowledge and it is so often overlooked in top-down solution. Furthermore, I think it is excellent to have a commercial aspect as well as solving a environmental and health problem. Awesome product!