Last edited: 14 February 2020
As an educator, her goal was to design learning opportunities for students that would empower them to think, question, create, understand, and act. As a retired educator and a volunteer, her goal now is to stay involved in her family, her community and the non profit, and to continue sharing the wonderful technology of solar cooking.
Mary is the co-founder of Solar Education Project (SEP). The mission of SEP is to promote solar cookers as tools for education, wellness, economic empowerment and ecosystem recovery. SEP promotes solar cooking locally in Ohio as well as internationally in Haiti, Kenya, and Pakistan. SEP is a member of Global Development Solutions, an NGO created to connect and support those working at the grass roots level to solve quality of life issues in ways consistent with the principles and goals of GDS. See GDSNonprofit.org for more information.
- April 2017: We Care to Share is a medical dental mission organized by Dr. Sarah John, a physician from Virginia and Pastor Francois Yves of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Palm Springs, Florida. Since 2010, the team has travelled to Chantal, Haiti to support the convent medical clinic run by Les Sœurs Missionaires de l'Immaculée. Over two years, We Care to Share upgraded the kitchen facility at the church-run school adjacent to the convent and lessened reliance on charcoal and wood as cooking fuel. In furtherance of that goal, a Solar Cooking Team -- Mary Buchenic, Jennifer Gasser, Sharon Cousins, Stacy Desrosier, and Scouts Russell Desrosier, and Parthiv Chigurupati -- was invited to join them on their most recent mission in January 2017. The Solar Cooking Team conducted solar cooker demonstrations in Port-au-Prince in transit to Chantal. The ovens introduced were the SolSource parabolic by One Earth Designs, Haines Solar Cookers, a home-made box oven, and locally sourced foiled bowl/panel cookers. The main objective was to facilitate successful cooking of traditional Haitian meals. During our four days in Chantal, we met with the school cooks for one cooking session during which they prepared a delicious meal of spaghetti with herring on the SolSource. The other three days the Team met with a local women's group to learn about solar cooking. The women's group (which included a number of men) formed “Solar Team Chantal”. They cooked rice and beans on the SolSource. Cakes and rice were prepared in the other cookers, and water pasteurization was demonstrated. DIY sessions were held each day. At the end of the project, two parabolic concentrators, 40 Haines 1 cookers, and materials for the bowl/panel cooker were donated to the cooks and the women's group. The women's group, aka Solar Team Chantal, has since begun demonstrating solar cooking to others in the community. Members are in communication with the Solar Cooking Team. Additional follow-up is planned in Chantal as well as in Port-au-Prince. The Solar Cooking Team has planned a follow-up trip to Haiti.
Articles in the media
- April 2018: Hubbard lawyer runs nonprofit to maximize US aid to poor nations - The Vindicator
- January 2018: Creating Programs to Promote Solar Cooking - Jennifer L. Gasser, et al
- January 2018: Networking to Advance the Use of Solar Cookers as Educational Tools in the Classroom (Slides, Paper) - Mary Buchenic, et al
- December 2016: Rubric for Characteristics of Effective Solar Cooking Lessons - Mary Buchenic