Extra Extra! – Black Soot, Wood Stoves and Climate Change in the News

And all this time I thought I was the only one on the internet writing about cooking stoves, sheesh… Today we have a news article written by a Vermonter about his experience with dirty cooking in the Indian Himalayas.

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Forget Burning Man–this is the Burning Conference You Should Attend

Reposted with permission – Adam Creighton, CEO InStove

This summer, Burning Man will draw tens of thousands of guests, and the fixated attention of millions as it celebrates diversity, creativity, and radical self-reliance in a “temporary city” in the desert of Nevada.

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A Vicious Cycle

Have you ever been depressed? Kind of a stupid question, I know. Did you notice how, when you were feeling down, those little things in life that you would otherwise handle were, all of a sudden, big deals? Yes, I know you have. The phenomenon is similar to what audio engineers call a feedback loop, which you know as that horrible screech you get when you bring a microphone close to a speaker. Continue reading A Vicious Cycle

Crazy – Improved Cookstoves Beat Modern Gas Ranges

UPDATED – Please see bottom of post for update…

What would you think if I told you that your modern gas or electric range was more inefficient than an improved wood burning cookstove? What would you think if I told you that your own home kitchen can have pollution levels that would be considered illegal if they were outdoors? You’d think I was crazy.

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Clean Cooking Showcased at COP21

Did you know that unimproved cookstoves contribute to global warming?

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A New Addition to the Family

Today we get to welcome a new member into the Pasqual family, Wonderbag.

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Extra Extra! – Solar Cookers Make Life Better

Bite-size Green TV host Angelina Le Grix and guest Michael Mora from Solar Cookers International discuss how solar cookers benefit users in the developing world. After trying 3 dishes in different models, Angelina recommends them for everyday cooking and emergency preparedness, as well.

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Day 20 – Women and Children First!

The iconic cry we all recognize from any sinking ship movie, right before some pig-headed guy pushes through the crowd and jumps aboard, right? Well, the guy in our story doesn’t play the role of baddie, he’s really more of an extra.

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Researchers Test for Better, Cleaner Cookstoves

The everyday task of cooking poses a major health threat for billions of people worldwide. A global effort is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into making better cookstoves. Companies are responding with new designs. The question is, how much better are they? Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are finding out. VOA’s Steve Baragona has a look.

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Day 19 – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

We grew up in Dallas, a city that seems to change at a greater rate than much of the US, but perhaps that is just my perception. Our favorite family Thai restaurant got bulldozed for a Super Target, and many of the haunts of our youth are long gone now. Change is inevitable I suppose, and the more we experience change the more accustomed we get to it. But not all change is good.

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Day 18 – Every Little Bit Counts

As I sit here, wracking my brains trying to think of a suitable parable to contrast the personal finance situation in developing countries with that of our own, I came to a realization. Sometimes we become blind to the truth in the world and it takes stepping back a bit to see it.

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Extra Extra! – Dirty Cooking in the News

We seem to have adapted to a nation where people smoke far more infrequently than they used to. I can’t barely stand to park next to a car in which the driver is smoking, or begin to understand how people used to eat in a restaurant full of cigarette smoke. But I remember the days when cigarette vending machines were everywhere. I’m glad those days are gone.

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Partner Post – African Slum Journal

African Slum Journal visits cooks in the slums of Nairobi to see how EcoZoom stoves are improving lives, saving money and helping the environment.

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Day 17 – Helter-Skelter

Many moons ago we bought a pop-up camper, and many fun family trips ensued. We got a Suburban to help pull it, and to fit all of our camping accoutrement. At the time gas cost just over a dollar a gallon, so it’s thirsty habits were not much of a concern. Well, we all remember what happened after that, don’t we! Forget long trips, we even had to sell the camper. These days the price of gas has gone down a lot; I’m sure when the gas company realizes it has an overdue book from the library we will be thrust back to 2008.

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Partner Post – Warm Beet Salad

Our partner One Earth Designs shares a recipe for Warm Beet Salad.

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Day 16 – The Masses

I have never taken the time to read the poem “The New Colossus” that is enshrined on our Statue of Liberty, though I’ve heard snippets of it throughout my life. Add to that, I’m not really a fan of poetry. But, sometimes, when the moon lines up with Pluto, I can enjoy a verse or two. I guess today is one of those rare days, and I’m proud to know that these verses helped solidify our Lady as a welcome host to the world’s castaways.

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Day 15 – The Road Is Long…

With many a winding turn… You may know this song by the Hollies, or maybe you don’t. It’s a sappy song about helping people. When I joined the fire department 18 years ago, it was used on our union promo video. It’s a poignant song, and can be applied skillfully to many situations. It fit well in the fire department setting, where we look on each other as brothers. Since I’m a sap, I get choked up every time I hear it.

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Extra Extra! – Solar Cooking in the News

The Huffington Post discusses the issues around solar cooking with our partner Catlin Powers from One Earth Designs.

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Day 14 – Choices

Way back in the good old days when I liked to have fun, we took the family to Six Flags in Arlington. The kids were young and of various sizes, and as adults Mara and I had different tastes in rides. We rode some coasters, the kids got on when they were tall enough, and when we just couldn’t take the heat anymore we rode that weird water cave ride with the ugly trolls and the air conditioning.

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Day 13 – The Right Idea

Today I’m going to share a video from a group in Bolivia called Sobre la Roca. It discusses the disproportionate suffering of women and children, and shows how women must play an important role in the fight against indoor cooking smoke.

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Partner Post – Solavore Works in the Developing World

Here is a recent video from our partner, Solavore.

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Day 12 – Together We Can Move Mountains

We live in the sunny Southwest, New Mexico to be exact. And sunny is an understatement. Like much of the west, we have our local mountains, the Organs. They are beautiful, and like all landscapes have a beauty that changes forms throughout the day. On a clear summer evening they are rosy pink fading to purple through the sunset, and on a chilly winter morning the clouds move on to reveal snow dusted caps. Our mountains are but a mirror held up to life, children grow and cities become ancient ruins, each with their own beauty in season.

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Day 11 – Unintended Consequences

I bet you slept a little in high school, didn’t you? You aren’t fooling anyone here, mister. You only have yourself to blame for today’s post then, because we need to make up for some lost time.

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Day 10 – Latin America

We’ll talk more about what was wrong with the old ways later. Today I’m going to touch on our project region, Latin America. As far as the global population goes, there are far more people who cook with solid fuel in places like Africa and Asia. Relief agencies and government bodies have spent the bulk of their resources addressing this very real need, and rightly so. Projects have been done in Latin America, but for a variety of reasons this region tends to get sidelined. Well, not anymore.

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Day 9 – What’s So Special About Pasqual?

We’ve covered a lot of ground in the last eight days. We’ve introduced you to our Cook, we’ve shown how she and her family suffer at the hands of cooking smoke, we’ve talked a bit about the poverty cycle, and we’ve introduced you to some solutions that exist to help Cook out of her predicament. But what does Pasqual have to do with that, and what makes Pasqual so different from the status quo?

Continue reading Day 9 – What’s So Special About Pasqual?