Mother Earth. The Main Beneficiary.

April 24, 2019
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tonnes offset since inception

Margarita Quispe will never forget the day she returned home with an armload of firewood to find neighbors gathered around her young son–who was having trouble breathing. “It was one of the scariest moments of my life,” she recalls—and it happened because her son had inhaled too much unhealthy smoke from the indoor wood fires she and most rural families in Peru use to cook their meals. Luckily, her son is fine, in part because Margarita is now a participant in the Qori Q’oncha Cookstove Program, which, with your help, has provided her and 107,000 families across Peru with cookstoves that burn wood more efficiently. The stoves also have a chimney so smoke is drawn out of the house instead of into little ones’ lungs.

But local children aren’t the main beneficiaries: Mother Earth is. Why? Open wood fires emit tonnes of planet-warming CO₂ and use more wood than is necessary for cooking, making them one of the primary causes of carbon pollution and deforestation across Peru. But the new cookstoves focus and retain heat right where it’s needed, so families need to chop and use less wood. Margarita reports that her family alone uses about 60% less than they used to, saving time, money, and the environment. And so far, carbon emissions have been reduced by 500,000 tonnes.

However, there are challenges: The average rural family in Peru lives on the equivalent of $71 a year, and the new cookstoves cost about $36, putting them out of reach of most. And every family needs to be educated in the use of the technology, as it changes common cooking methods that are part of their culture. Your support is what makes this program possible. Thank you from Margarita, her community, and Cool Effect!