112 ;e Costco Connection DECEMBER 2016
Left: Cooking over an open ;re indoors. Right: same home with a new stove.
prise company based in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The stoves cost about $150 each; the easy
installation process takes about 10 minutes,
and includes venting outside the home
through a simple chimney system. The stoves
reduce household pollution by 90 percent and
use 75 percent less fuel. For kids, time saved
from gathering fuel can be spent on education
or playing, and moms can use the time for
community activities and socialization.
MORE THAN 4 million people annually die
prematurely from illnesses attributable to
household air pollution caused by cooking
with solid fuels, according to the World
Health Organization. Roughly 7,500 to 8,700
of these deaths a year occur in Nepal alone.
Costco member George Basch of Taos, New
Mexico, is doing something about it with his
Himalayan Stove Project (HSP).
A trip to Nepal in 2009 provided the catalyst. “Anybody who goes to Nepal and goes
to the villages and homes gets exposed to the
terrible indoor air pollution conditions that
these people are living under,” says Basch, who
at 80 continues to trek. “They burn whatever
fuel is available, whether it’s wood or crop
waste or yak dung. It’s a miserable environment.” That practice, combined with the lack
of ventilation, creates an environment unsuitable for human inhalation.
himalayanstoveproject.org), with help
from Nepal-focused organizations, identifies
people most in need and gives them fuel-
efficient stoves from Envirofit, a social enter-
Basch describes the effect on one particu-
lar family that he personally witnessed.
“When the smoke cleared, we all sat down
and had dinner together in their kitchen,
which was the first time they had [been able
to do] that in their lives. They socialized as a
family, and we were honored to be part of it.”
Donations to HSP go toward the pur-
chase of the stoves, as well as distribution.
“Our limitation is funding,” explains Basch.
“The mountainous region has around 5 mil-
lion people. So the needs up there are for a
million stoves. We’ve delivered 4,000—which
I think is a great accomplishment—but that
means we have 996,000 to go.”—Steve Fisher
Costco members doing
their part to help make the
world a better place
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for more details about HSP.
(See page 11 for details.)
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