How can I reuse/recycle foil bag linings to make a solar cooker or the like?

We’ve had an email from long-time commenter Melinda:

I’ve recently been struck with the foil linings of snack bags, and even dog food bags. Has anyone used these to create something solar, such as a cooker? What items have been put to solar use and how?

Making a solar cooker is on my to-do list for this year but I’ve not done it yet (and probably missed the hottest, sun-powered days – doh!) so I can’t advice on that. Anyone else got any experience making those? I was probably going to make something like this cardboard one to start with.

I also wonder if they’d be useful as soft mirrors behind plants, to reflect a bit of the light to the non-sunny side of the plant — a similar idea but, hopefully, without the cooking!

Any suggestions or tips for Melinda? Or any other solar related ideas?

Related Categories

garden, household, packaging, reverse this

Search for other related items

2 Responses to “How can I reuse/recycle foil bag linings to make a solar cooker or the like?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Using bags for a solar cooker is a good idea – start with a small cardboard box type so you get the hang of cooking with it. Using small bags may take a bit of tape – use it on the underside. Be sure to use thin, dark colored vessels to cook in (granite wear works well) but if you don’t have any, cover with a dark dishtowel or any clean dark material – you want the heat to be absorbed.

    You do not need the sunniest, hottest days – any day with about 6 hours of sun, or less depending on what you’re cooking, will do. I have a commercial solar oven and have used it for all kinds of stuff – long days for cooking meat/chicken and short or partly cloudy days for drying herbs, making broth from chicken carcass and reheating casseroles. To make solar tea or coffee put the vessel on foil and also behind to reflect the sun’s rays into the vessel.

    Other uses for foil bags might be for repacking something that needs to be waterproof – like freezing leftovers – as long as you can reseal. Also if something, like seeds, needs to be air tight. Of course, I’m talking about bags that have been washed. Larger bags would hold plant soil or could even be used to make compost – fill bag, seal the top, set out in a sunny location, turn every few days, in about 3 months, if memory is correct, it should be broken down to usable compost.

    The latest rage in reusing snack bags that I’ve seen is making purses – with the labels showing. Choice is yours, I wouldn’t want anyone seeing what I’ve been eating.

  2. These are some great uses for this foil, I would like to experiment with some of these foils to see if it is possible to make a solar oven out of them as I think that would be a cool way to reuse these bags.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)