New designs can also increase the efficiency of using charcoal, another cooking fuel used in many parts of the world. One third of households in Ghana, for example, are dependent on charcoal stoves. That statistic motivated some young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to develop a cheaper and more efficient “Coalpot” charcoal stove that cooks faster and cuts charcoal use by about one third, yet sells for as little as $7 (USD). They’ve already sold over 150,000 stoves.
This design isn’t just saving charcoal, although it does reduce charcoal use by about 26,000 tons per year. It’s also saving trees and cutting CO2 by an estimated 150,000 tons per year. Finally, it’s saving customers money on fuel costs. To make these stoves more affordable, their company (Toyola) offers customers the option to buy on credit and pay back their loan over two months using the money saved on charcoal, with many stashing their savings in a ‘Toyola Money Box’.
Additional examples of low-cost and ecologically-friendly cooking success stories can be found in the Ecological Handprints eBook.