Smokeless Biofuel Saves Lives in Africa

Smokeless Biofuel Saves Lives in Africa

by Julie Fahnestock
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Smokeless #biofuel from @GreenCharKenya is saving lives in Africa - via @Justmeans & @juliefahnestock

Multimedia from this Release

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 4:00pm



When I make dinner tonight, I’ll walk over to my stove, turn a few knobs and be eating in twenty minutes or less. Easy, clean, safe and cheap. However, those four adjectives do not describe the way most people, women and children in particular, in developing nations experience cooking. In fact, traditional cooking methods—open fires of wood and chemically based charcoals—have been deemed “the silent killer.” According to the World Health Organization, more people in the developing world die each year from illness caused by smoke inhalation than malaria, HIV and tuberculosis combined.   

Tom Osborne, the Founder of GreenChar, a Kenyan-based social enterprise which provides environmentally and people-friendly cooking solutions, seeks to change this. He knows the health risks of cooking in rural Kenya first-hand. It was his job as a kid to help his mom light the open wood or charcoal fire four times a day before his mom cooked over it.

“Many victims don’t know it’s the smoke causing their infections. They don’t attribute their health problems to it.  At GreenChar we are raising awareness in focus groups with women. 340 women meet once a week to discuss the health risks. Some of them understand the risks as they cook and some don’t think it’s a big problem,” said Osborne.

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Julie is passionate about telling the story of where business meets good. She is the Founder of B Storytelling, a content development company specifically designed to help popularize the good happening through business. They do this by helping Benefit Corporations identify, build and leverage their brands. Julie has an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro Graduate School. She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida with her husband, Thomas.