TEMPLE, Texas — Matt West has been cooking with the sun since the early days of the internet.
He said he was inspired when he was a little boy and saw someone cook a hot dog with solar power for the first time. He was captivated by the idea.
"I was a little boy, with the Cub Scouts at an event," West said. "Someone had made a cone made of foil and card board like cereal box material, you know and and there was a wire sticking out and a weenie on that wire. And the sun was sizzling that little weenie in the air and I said 'wow'."
West created a Facebook group titled, Solar Cooking - Do It Yourself" filled with people all over the world like him who cook with solar power.
People from as close as Minnesota and California and even Ohio, to places far away like Haiti and Kenya.
Some say they wanted to test their abilities to use a green method to cook, while others say solar cooking, in a lot of ways, saved their communities.
West and others design solar cooking rigs with various foil panels, metals, and angles to capture the sunlight.
It creates a sort of oven reaction and allows food to cook like it was on the stove or in the oven. It takes a while, but West and others say it's completely worth it.
"We share a passion for helping out the world saving the planet any way we can. We all have a common sort of competition to see who can solve these things," West said.
West says he won't give up on spreading his message. He thinks everyone should give solar cooking a try. He believes solar cooking empowers others to do something they thought wasn't possible.
"It's about a higher purpose, and I see my ideas spreading around the world," West said.