3 billion people cook every meal over an open fire
More than 3 billion people in this world—literally half the population of the planet—still cook every meal over an open fire, and many do that cooking indoors! As a result, women and children are dying from the cumulative effects of smoke inhalation, and families are spending vast amounts of time, money, and energy to gather and purchase fuel. Forests are also rapidly disappearing all over the world as wood is harvested and collected at unsustainable rates.
Take a look at some of the statistics on why efficient stoves are so important:
- According to the World Health Organization nearly 4 million women and children die every year from lower respiratory disease related to indoor cooking smoke. In fact, pneumonia from lower respiratory disease is the #1 killer of children under five years old globally. Not AIDS or water-borne illnesses or malnutrition, but pneumonia from exposure to indoor cooking smoke.
- In many areas of the world, women walk 10+ miles per trip and spend 30+ hours per week collecting wood, carrying 40 to 60lb bundles back to their home.
- Families who purchase fuel often spend 30% or more of their annual income on cooking fuel alone.
As a result of all of this, massive quantities of greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere every year. The Nature Conservancy estimates that the rural poor generate an estimated 25% of global CO2 emissions. That’s more than every car, bus, train and plane on the planet emit combined. Yet simple, economic solutions to this problem exist and have existed for 25+ years. There’s just been no one to bring those solutions to market in a sustainable way. Hit the buttons below to learn more about making a donation or purchasing carbon offsets.
A woman's point of view
Hear how an efficient stove impacted Sarah's life in this short film by Rodney Rascona. This is one in a series of shorts filmed around the globe called "Black Inside" which tell the story of clean cookstoves through the lives of individual women.