The guiding principle of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves can be summed up in three words: Cooking shouldn't kill.
While that may sound obvious to most of us, dangerous smoke from flame-powered cooking methods in the developing world is the root cause of a litany of unnecessary deaths and illnesses. Each year, 1.9 million people die from exposure to such smoke, and many more develop pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease.
In addition, inefficient stoves harm the environment through emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and aerosols. They also force women and children to risk their lives foraging for wood in dangerous areas.
The Alliance, an initiative led by the United Nations Foundation, seeks to address the problem by nurturing clean cookstove production -- creating a sustainable industry that can safely meet the needs of impoverished people around the world.
Visit cleancookstoves.org to learn more and contribute to the clean cookstove movement. For a meaningful way to give this holiday season, go to wfp.org/stove to help provide lifesaving stoves to women in Darfur.
Photo credit: Sunil Lal
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