Nearly 3 billion people in the world do not have a stove to cook on and must walk miles just to gather enough wood to cook meals for their families. The Paradigm Project is seeking to end that constant search for fuel by raising awareness and money to purchase clean burning cook stoves for people in developing countries — they have a goal to implement 5 million stoves by 2020. The Woodwalkis an event organized by the Paradigm Project that they hope will raise awareness about their goals by bringing the issue to the streets. The group finished the latest Woodwalk this past October where they trudged for 10 days from San Diego to Los Angeles each with 40-60 pounds of wood strapped to their backs. The walk is a tribute to the industriousness of the communities they are hoping to help, and it’s a great way to reach people they might otherwise not come in contact with. Check out a video of their trek after the jump.

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The Paradigm Project uses an interesting mix of donation and investment to help people in developing countries obtain a clean burning cook stove. Their stoves, called Rocket Stoves, are clean burning, maximally efficient and easy to use. The group has already delivered 36,340 stoves to communities in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya and Tanzania, and they hope to deliver 94,000 more this year.

Open fire cooking and inefficient stoves cause deforestation, respiratory diseases and increase poverty in developing countries. “1 in 2 of us have to walk over 10 miles and spend over 30 hours a week to collect wood, spend up to 35% of our income on purchasing fuel, expose ourselves to harm and smoke the equivalent of 40 cigarettes a day according to the World Health Organization (WHO) just to cook,” says the Paradigm Project’s website. Through their efforts the group has saved 76,903 trees, 21,423 tons of CO2 emissions and have positively influenced 181,700 lives in the process. Through efforts like the Woodwalk their good work can only increase.

+ The Paradigm Project