Marko Capek, UNDP in Croatia
Robi and I are at it again, promoting solar power and having fun. Our first try with promoting solar power at the Terraneo music festival (See: Sun and fun in Croatia) got some positive attention and we got a few more requests to join other festivals and events.
So when our colleagues told us they were going to take part in the food and film festival to promote organic farming, we thought we’d tag along and promote solar power to our kind of audience – a diverse group of people, of all different ages and cultures who love the sun, movies and good food.
So off we went, to the small, fortified coastal city of Ston, home to a lot of nature-friendly activities.
(Interesting fact: Ston has the second largest fortification wall after the Great Wall of China. The city is also famous for its shellfish cultivation in Mali Ston Bay – if you get the chance, you should try the oysters and mussels. You can also come to gather your own salt.)
In Ston, we took part in the KINOOKUS International Food Film Festival. The theme of the festival was “energy in food and food energy.” Isn’t it a perfect match with solar-cookers and topping-up solar energy stored in food when preparing it? That’s what we demonstrated in Ston.
The festival in Ston is an international film, art and culinary festival, with the concept of promoting healthy pleasures with the goal to preserve, develop and evaluate film and environmental education for youth.
The festival promotes a culture of open air movies, local cultural and gastronomic heritage, preparing and enjoying healthy food, traditional recipes and natural food preservation, conservation of biodiversity through breeding traditional and autochthonous species and breeds, as well as local customs and cultural identity, social justice, human and civil rights. (What’s not to love?)
We held a two-day workshop and exhibit with equipment from the Solar Education Center (Solarni edukacijski centar) and Vocational School Vice Vlatković (Strukovna škola Vice Vlatkovića) in Zadar, along with some gadgets that we made ourselves.
We had our usual collection of solar equipment but this time we also brought along some solar cookers and with the help of festival participants, we cooked meals for more than ten people, with a steady supply of solar-cooked coffee and tea.
The equipment can easily be made out of material that you would otherwise throw away (reduce, reuse, recycle!) and can be used even on sunny winter days.
And because everything is better with music, the Solaar band (me and Robi) played some songs.
If you consider that this tasty organic and ecological food grew only with water and sunlight, that we transported it and cooked it only with sunlight, we closed the entire lifecycle of food with only solar energy and achieved a low ecological footprint on our plate. We enjoyed being in complete harmony with the this year’s festival motto: “Food Energy.”