10,000 Improved Cookstoves – The Beginning of Eradicating Open Fire Cooking in Mexico

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Ten thousand families in Mexico now have a safer, healthier, more efficient way to cook. These families were part of an improved cookstove pilot project spearheaded by EcoZoom, a company dedicated to making cooking safe for people and the planet.

Gis is surprised that small pieces of wood can power the stove. Photo Credit: EcoZoom

When I use to cook tortillas all the smoke would hit me in the face and it was hurting me, but not with this stove. I feel protected now,” said Gis, the first stove recipient (pictured above).

A new cookstove project with the ability to scale rapidly. EcoZoom's Project Mexico included designing a new stove especially for cooking in Mexico, conducting trainings with stove installers and participating in the first round of installations.

A quarter of Mexico’s population, 25 million people, cooks on open fires or dangerous unimproved cookstoves. According to the Mexican government, each year these cooking practices cause 18,000 premature deaths, over 20 million tons of wood to be burnt, and contribute to large amounts of CO2 emissions.

EcoZoom cookstoves remove harmful smoke from the house, combust more efficiently to create less harmful emissions and reduce fuel use by up to 70%, while cooking traditional foods using traditional fuel.

Cooks in the seven pilot states are enjoying their new cookstove. “When I used to cook tortillas all the smoke would hit me in the face and it was hurting me, but not with this stove. I feel protected now,” said Gis, the first stove recipient. (Hear more of her story in this video.)

EcoZoom is already getting follow-on orders from pilot states, as well as from states outside of the pilot. EcoZoom forecasts installing more than 100,000 new stoves in Mexico this year, which will benefit more than 400,000 Mexican citizens.

The La Mera Mera is the first cookstove available in Latin America that can be produced at a large scale – tens of thousands per month – and that is also easy to transport and install. Even though demand in Mexico is in the millions, most cookstove programs manufacture thousands per year, which is not enough to keep up with population growth. “Manufacturing and scale are no longer pinch points for a project’s capacity goals and with the right distribution, training and monitoring program millions of cookstoves can be delivered to countries throughout the region [Latin America]," says Ben West, CEO of EcoZoom.

EcoZoom isn’t stopping there, it is also introducing a parts program to extend the stove’s useful life and make more progress against population growth. This program is taking a big step toward eradicating open fire cooking in Mexico.

About the Cookstove Industry
On a global scale, over three billion people still cook on open fires or unimproved stoves, resulting in 2 million premature deaths - women and children being the most affected. The World Health Organization estimates harmful cookstove smoke to be one of the top five threats to public health in poor, developing countries.

A growing group of organizations, including EcoZoom, are uniting to make access to improved cookstoves a reality. Organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors all over the globe are working at multiple production scales and in many facets to accomplish the goal of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – an industry leading group started by Hillary Clinton - of 100 million households adapting clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance works with its partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.

For more information, visit http://www.cleancookstoves.org

About EcoZoom
EcoZoom is a social enterprise and certified B Corps with the mission of making cooking safe for people and the planet. EcoZoom offers high quality products at low prices, and a product improvement pipeline of next generation stoves that will keep people from switching back to open fire cooking. Families here in the US can get involved in our mission through the Z+ Program. For each stove sold in the US, for recreation or emergency preparedness use, EcoZoom will give a stove to a project partner for free. These stoves can go to refugee camps or be used to seed potential markets and test distribution strategies.

For more information, visit http://www.ecozoomstove.com.

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Amanda West
EcoZoom
903-326-9666
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