Our Mission

Girl with 100 liter InStove in Senegal kitchen

Institutional Stove Solutions—InStove—is a 501(c)(3) non-profit humanitarian organization founded in 2012. We are dedicated to relieving suffering, improving health, and reducing harm to the environment through renewable energy technology and education.

The Issues We Address

Women in smoky institutional kitchen in Dakar SenegalA smoky, institutional kitchen in Dakar, Senegal.

Human Health and Well-being

Our advanced-design 60 and 100 Liter institutional stoves eliminate smoke from kitchens - reducing rates of pulmonary, heart, and other diseases caused by indoor air pollution (IAP), which is responsible for an estimated 4.3 million premature deaths per year; more than diarrheal diseases, AIDS, and malaria combined. Pneumonia resulting from IAP also causes 50% of premature deaths among children under 5. InStoves also help to reduce the occurrence of debilitating non-fatal conditions caused by IAP including optical cataracts and macular degeneration.

Our stoves are the result of 30 years of research into improved stove design, and are virtually tip-proof and remain safe to touch while in operation, greatly reducing the risk of burns compared to unstable, unsafe traditional cooking methods. Women and children are especially susceptible to disfiguring—and sometimes fatal—burn injuries, which are 3 times more likely to affect children in Africa than in the rest of the world.

The low fuel use and fuel flexibility of our stoves dramatically improve the lives of cooks, primarily women and children, who, in order to provide for their families, put themselves at great personal risk of assault, rape, abduction, and even murder when cooking outdoors and when seeking firewood in conflict areas.

Food Security

Women collecting firewood in DarfurWomen returning from a search for firewood in the Darfur region.

Many people in the developing world rely on institutional settings such as schools, orphanages, and refugee centers for their food security.

An important part of aid is the means to cook food, and our stoves help make these programs affordable. Our stoves reduce the cost of these crucial programs by reducing demand for fuel. One 60 or 100 Liter Stove will pay for itself in fuel savings in just months.

clean surgical tools

Medical Sterilization

A significant contributor to the spread of disease and infection in developing countries is the lack of a safe, reliable, and cost-effective means to sterilize medical instruments and dressings. Sterilization of medical waste is uncommon; such bio-hazardous material is often dumped in landfills, buried or incinerated, adding highly toxic pathogens to the environment and creating new vectors for the spread of diseases.

Our stoves, paired with a proven hospital-grade autoclave, provide a primary sterilization method to both rural clinics--which are often off the electrical grid--and to urban facilities which must deal with regular power outages.

Safe Drinking Water

Clean drinking water from an InStove stove powered pasteurizerClean drinking water flowing from an InStove pasteruizer.

Globally, 1.8 billion people rely on water sources contaminated with feces, and more than 3.4 million die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes.

In the developing world, suffering caused by waterborne diseases ruins lives and damages communities. To combat this, InStove has developed a water pasteurization system for use with our stoves. Test results show our system is capable of producing up to 800 liters (210 gallons) of safe drinking water per hour, with complete elimination of all waterborne pathogens. This is enough water to meet the needs of an entire village. It is also ideal for use in disaster-relief settings to quickly provide large quantities of safe water.

Deforestation and stumps of trees cut for firewood in DarfurHeavy deforestation in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Deforestation, Desertification, and Habitat Loss

The world is losing its forests. Half of all of the world’s wood products are harvested for fuel. This fraction approaches 90% in Africa, and is undoubtedly even higher when illegally harvested wood is considered. Some sub-Saharan African countries are losing their remaining woodlands at a rate of 3-4% per year. Around many refugee and Internally Displaced Persons camps, the devastation of over-harvesting extends for dozens of kilometers.

The increased fuel efficiency of our stoves relieves a significant amount of the burden on local ecosystems to produce fire wood. To reduce the demand for unsustainably-harvested fuel even further, InStove has designed a hand-powered briquette presshand-powered briquette press that can turn almost any biomass material (straw, dung, coconut husks, paper, etc.) into burnable fuel briquettes optimized for use in our stoves. Gram-for-gram, briquettes have the same fuel value as wood, and can replace up to 80% of the wood used in cooking.

Climate Change

firewood stacks and institutional three stone fire cooking in a Dolo Ado refugee camp kitchen in EthiopiaA typical refugee camp kitchen at Dolo Ado camp, Ethiopia.

Over three billion people worldwide rely on inefficient biomass fires to cook every day. This contributes heavily to global carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions, which are responsible for an estimated 18% of all climate change.

Our stoves address three variables in this equation: First, the amount of fuel needed is reduced by up to 90%. Second, in comparison to cooking over an open fire, the atmospherically harmful emissions produced (including particulate matter like black carbon) are reduced by over 90%. Third, our briquette press can further reduce demand for wood and charcoal, helping to preserve the forests that resist climate change.

Stove production inside the InStove factory in Cottage Grove OregonInside the InStove factory in Cottage Grove, Oregon, USA.

Sustainable Development

We create sustainable businesses at home and abroad. Our two-tiered production methodology begins with stoves produced at our factory in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Stoves are introduced to markets in a developing country and once there is sufficient demand and interest, we ship a “Stove-Factory-in-a-Box” which contains all of the tools, jigs, and raw materials necessary to open a sustainable, locally-managed business producing our stoves at the same level of quality as our American factory.

This model increases employment, economic independence and local expertise, and lowers the labor and shipping costs of our stoves. It also provides repair capacity which extends the lives of our stoves in the field. All of these factors combine to make our stove initiative—and our local partners' stove factories—truly sustainable.

 

References

  1. Indoor air pollution and gender-based violence information retrieved from WHO IAP factsheet: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/
  2. Malaria death statistic taken from WHO malaria factsheet: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/
  3. Diarrhea and AIDS death statistics taken from WHO causes of death factsheet: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
  4. Burn information is from WHO burn factsheet: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs365/en/
  5. Clean water and sanitation statistics from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/
  6. Waterborne illness death rate taken from WHO world water day report (2001): http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/takingcharge.html
  7. Deforestation figures taken from the UN FAO 2010 global forest resource assessment (see pg. xxi for fuel harvesting statistics, pg. 18 for African deforestation rates, and pg. 21 for country-specific deforestation rates): http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1757e/i1757e.pdf