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I’m a rocket scientist designing wood stoves that burn without smoking. To save lives and save the planet.

Stashed in: Ecology!, Awesome

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Half the planet currently cooks on smoky open fires, resulting in four million premature deaths annually. It’s devastating. And it’s the driving force behind why we developed the HomeStove, a biomass-burning stove that cuts fuel consumption in half while reducing toxic emissions by 90%. We’re on a mission to bring a safe, affordable alternative to these dangerous fires in a way that is compelling to households and in line with cultural practices.

Well, at the same time you’re embarking on that late night snack, it’s 5am in Kamuli, Uganda, a village 150 miles outside of the capital city of Kampala, and Mary Serwanja is just waking up.

After getting dressed, Mary sets off on a two-mile walk to collect her family’s daily water. After returning home with her haul, she heads out once again for a couple hours of firewood collection. She builds a fire underneath a few large stones and places a pot on top to boil water for drinking. By mid-afternoon, Mary begins to cook dinner, spending two hours over the fire. As the family gathers around to eat, the sun goes down. Mary lights a single kerosene lamp, which her two children crowd around, squinting to do their schoolwork. Mary’s husband remarks that the family’s mobile phone has run out of battery and asks her to walk to the neighboring village tomorrow, where she will pay to have the phone recharged. As the family gets ready for sleep, Mary lets the fire die out, and the smoke continues to waft through the house.


After purchasing the BioLite HomeStove, Mary spends half as much time collecting fuel each week. With the extra time, she got a job to bring in extra money to pay her children’s school fees. With access to an outlet, she no longer walks into town to charge the family mobile phone, and has time to help her children study at night around the HomeStove’s attached LED light.

Sounds like it's really making a difference in her life. 

Yeah. Breathing smoke while you sleep can't be good.

It's not even good when you're awake. 

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