Solar Powered Street Tacos!!
I recently came across the most wonderful Indiegogo campaign from last year that beautifully summarizes a simple and effective way to help change the world.
Solar powered street vendor carts!
We Americans know and love our local food carts serving up tacos, brats, chorizo and foot longs along with grilled onions and peppers, but there is far more to the street vendor scene if you back off and take a global look.
According to the site Vendedy.com, the self-proclaimed “Yelp” for street markets, there are over 2 billion street vendors in the world. The Musana Cart team, who I’ll tell you more about in a minute, estimates 10 million. Regardless of who is right, it is a huge and thriving marketplace. Street vendors range from Egyptian street carts selling delicious ful made with Fava beans to Myanmar women ladling mouthwatering, steaming street soups to individuals selling hats in an open, sunny market. These vendors have limited time to do business each day due to the lack of refrigeration or power to run appliances, but the simple act of adding a solar energy solution can extend their work day and literally double their income. Also, by transferring the business energy generation requirements to solar, a major reduction to carbon emissions is achieved.
What does a solar powered street vendor solution look like? It’s a remarkably simple concept – mount a solar panel to a hand pushed cart and capture the power of the sun to drive some simple, low-power devices that have the ability to transform the business dynamics for the vendor by doubling their time to work and sell. Low power consumption appliances include small DC refrigerators, cook tops, and lights. It’s an elegant, simple solution that uses robust, proven technology to transform lives. No complex engineering challenges or new technology is needed, the concept simply needs organizational support and drive to help it spread and become successful.
Musana Cart is an Indiegogo project fully funded in May of 2016 that is underway and is targeting street vendors in Kampala, Uganda with a fully engineered solution providing solar power, an electrical outlet, a workspace and a lockable storage area for a refrigerator. The result is a range of positive impacts on the environment, economy, heath, and society overall. Check out the Musana Cart story on Indiegogo here: