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BURN Stoves Improve Health and Fight Climate Change

Dear Bryan, MSAF, Brian, Alyce, and Dominic,

Thank you so much for funding the creation and distribution of 10 clean-burning stoves! The following story comes from Alison, an intern at BURN Design Lab (BDL), who wants to share her experience at BURN and relate how these stoves are already making a difference.

Peter Scott is a visionary. He founded the non-profit organization BDL (based in Vashon, WA) about a year ago with the vision of designing – not just engineering – cook stoves to be mass-produced in developing countries. Soon after, BDL’s sister company was created, BURN Manufacturing Company (BMC), a for-profit organization that will manufacture stoves in Kenya. This will contribute to the local economy by manufacturing 20,000 stoves per month, stoves that women will love not only for their performance but also for their usability and aesthetics. Additionally, throughout the year, an incredibly talented group of engineers and designers has decided to join Peter on this mission of saving forests…and saving lives.

Here is an awesome video that sums up the vision behind BURN:

I’m currently in Kenya and am responsible for user research and aiding Eoin, a BURN team member, in the manufacturing set-up. My first focus group was chaos; women were picking up hot charcoal from one stove to the other, there was a one-year-old baby trying to help her mom light the stoves by playing with the matches, and ashes flew everywhere due to the excessive fanning. Yet it was a successful chaos; the women loved our stove and I learned so much by observing and participating in the cooking.

The stove we crafted at BURN had evolved from a glossy product in a lab into an integral part of someone’s life — a part that they physically touch and use, talk about, and care for over generations. The women were so happy with our stove, not just because it saved them fuel and smoked less than the traditional Kenyan Ceramic Jikos (KCJs), but also because it was user-friendly. The handles weren’t too hot to hold, the ashtray could be easily removed (instead of dumping out the whole stove), and most importantly, the women thought it was a very nice, unique looking product. They wanted to use it.

Clean-burning stoves from BURN Design lab will help fight environmental degradation and save the lives of millions at the same time. Through your generosity, MSAF, Bryan, Brian, Dominic, and Alyce, more families are free of toxic smoke and can devote their energy to more important activities.

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