Cooking on an open fire - a process that is both dangerous and environmentally destructive - is still common throughout the developing world. Stockholm-based design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune has developed one possible solution with the new Baker Cookstove - an energy-efficient stove that uses just one-third of the wood required for an open fire. The inexpensive stove greatly reduces the greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter produced while cooking a meal -- and it looks quite nice, too.
The majority of women in the developing world do their cooking on what is called a “three-stone fire“: three stones supporting a pot with a fire beneath it. That type of fire is both inefficient, because it requires a lot of wood to cook a meal, and it’s harmful to the person cooking, because it emits a lot of smoke. With the Baker Stove, the design team at Claesson Koivisto Rune sought to produce a simple stove that burns fuel more efficiently while enabling people to retain their cultural cooking techniques.
During recent tests at the University of Nairobi, the Baker Stove achieve a 56-percent reduction in carbon monoxide emissions, and it reduced the amount of particulate matter by more than one-third. The stove is made of sturdy recycled aluminum, and it will be manufactured locally by a company that is registered in Kenya, contributing to local economies.
The first Baker Stove store opened in Kenya in March, and the store is reportedly selling stoves faster than they can be stocked. The stove retails for $59, but if buyers provide socioeconomic data, they will be able to get it at the discounted price of of $29.