BioLite's Clean Stoves Help Campers and Bring Safe Energy to Developing World

How we can save two million lives a year by changing people’s cooking appliances? BioLite explores a promising market-based solution to poverty and climate change.

BioLite has created a low-cost biomass cookstove that, by converting waste heat into electricity, reduces smoke emissions by up to 95% while simultaneously providing users with the capability to charge mobile phones and LED lights.  Drawing on cultural anthropology and user-centered design, the team develops and distributes the stove in a manner that is consistent with local cultural, religious, and culinary practices.

For-Profit Business Model Fund Non-Profit Work

The company employs a very innovative business strategy. They use the same BioLite HomeStove Technology in their CampStoves that are sold in developed nations. These sales help fund capital needed to incubate self-sustained energy access for the people who need it most-in developing nations. This strategy helps with different problems in different markets.

Clean Excursions with CleanStove

In the developed world, BioLite provides a clean and ecofriendly  energy option for the outdoors- CleanStove. It caters to a population that appreciates and respects natural biodiversity. Outdoor enthusiasts were stuck with propane gas tanks that had a higher footprint and issues with canister disposal. BioLite solves those problems and its profits helps with developed work in impoverished economies. Imagine a large camping group cooking their food on the stove that also doubles up to recharge, phones or GPS devices. Brilliant!

Better Standards of Living with HomeStove

In developing economies, the same technology helps as a main fuel source for cooking and charging small appliances as –HomeStove. The direct and indirect benefits of clean cooking technologies are well documented. It reduces health hazards, reduces expenses on fuel and increases spending capacity for books and food, helps women and children spend lesser time foraging for wood spend and more time on education.

Ethan Kay, BioLite’s Managing Director of Emerging Markets, recently gave a TEDx talk in Montreal about the unspoken dangers of indoor air pollution and how clean cookstoves can help save up to 2 million lives a year. Check out his full talk and learn about the challenges of innovation, adoption and the power of cultural relevance.


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About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+