Less smoke, no fire
About a month ago JP wrote about fuel efficient cookers , but they make me so giddy that I just had to write about them too, with a few fresh examples. ?
If you’re new to the concept and hear “fuel efficient cooker,” you’ll probably think “Great! Sounds eco-friendly.” It sure is.? Solar cookers require no wood at all, while clay, biogas, and other kinds of cookers can alleviate deforestation by reducing firewood usage by 50% or more.? The reduced consumption of fuel means saving money, another benefit. ?
Less need to collect firewood means more time to go to things like attend school, for children, particularly girls, are often the ones asked to perform this wearisome task.? The Near East Foundation estimates that in one Moroccan village where it introduced clay cookers, women aged 8 to 60 each day were collecting 20-30 kg of wood over 15 kilometers for a total of 120 hours a year.
Using non-wood powered cookers brings another physical benefit: fewer respiratory and eye problems. Burning wood, dung, and crop residues (biomass fuels used by 60% of Africans) indoors can irritate lungs and eyes, and the WHO reports, causes 1.5 million deaths (more than malaria) by indoor air pollution every year.
Practical Action in fact produces “smoke-hoods” for kichens as well as clay cookers? in Kenya
Most of the above cookers cost about $30 and are meant for , well, cooking food.? when it comes to commercial and industrial ovens (e.g. for making bricks), brick kilns are often used, but also often emit a great deal of smoke.? The Vertical Shaft brick kiln is a cleaner , albeit expensive variant.? VSBKs have been used around the world, including Nicaragua,? Nepal, and China.?? Solar Household Energy Inc. estimates that solar cookers are appropriate for as many as 67 countries (i.e. they get enough sun per year–300 days) A great starting point for understanding how solar cooking works, as well as links to organizations researching high-efficiency cooking, is SHE’s resources list.
Here is a great a list of fuel-efficient cookers by country; the UNDP has a list of energy-efficient projects around the world with many cookers listed as well.?