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Improved Stoves Combat Climate Change

Improved Stoves Combat Climate Change

If you have traveled in rural Africa, you’ve seen smoke coming from the small houses and backyards of most families. In fact, it is not uncommon to see wood fires and stoves used throughout cities as well.  Cooking with wood as fuel contributes to family health problems, particularly for women and children. Cooking with wood fuel also contributes to deforestation as people cut trees to provide the fuel.

Now a new study finds that black carbon, which is mostly “soot” formed in the combustion of wood and fuels such as diesel and kerosene, is the second most important contributor to global climate change.

Efforts throughout Sub Saharan Africa and the developing world have thus far primarily focused on the health and the deforestation effects of burning wood.  The black particles emitted contribute to heart and respiratory disease.  Deforestation leads to land and water degradation and the loss of wildlife. Now, the contribution of millions of cook fires to global climate change is clear.

Providing more efficient stoves is a priority of the Aid for Africa member African Rainforest Conservancy, which supports projects in the forested mountain and coastal areas of Tanzania.  Such stoves have cut wood fuel use in half. Solar cookers, which use only the sun to heat foods, are also in areas of Africa that have plentiful sunshine. Aid for Africa member Solar Cookers International supports solar cooker development in Africa and throughout the world.

Reducing soot emissions from wood-burning stoves and open cooking fires improves health, preserves forests, and now science suggests also helps protect the earth from warming.  As the second contributor to global warming, eliminating soot will go a long way to mitigating climate change.

Learn more about Aid for Africa members working to improve the environment.

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Aid for Africa is an alliance of 85 U.S.-based nonprofits and their African partners who help children, families, and communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Aid for Africa’s grassroots programs focus on health, education, economic development, arts & culture, conservation, and wildlife protection in Africa.

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4:56AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:44PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Encouraging to see efforts taken to improve this issue.Thansk for the information.

4:53PM PST on Feb 24, 2013


11:55AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

Good to know more about something for which I "click". Aid To Africa is impressing me more and more as I read of the organizations that work within it; tx!

9:21AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

all it takes is 350 butterfly credits...

10:52AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Please give us an option to redeem butterfly credits for solar stoves, thank you.

1:36AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

I would love to have a solar cooker. As I sit here sweating in our Western Australian 40 degree celsius heat, it seems to make perfect sense. Plus no more gas bills.

9:45AM PST on Feb 5, 2013


6:08AM PST on Feb 5, 2013


10:30PM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Very good. Thanks.

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