People living in rural, developing areas are often forced to use practices that are both damaging to the environment & community health. Trees must be cut down to provide fuel to cook food. Contaminated manure is used to fertilize plants, contributing to outbreaks of E. coli & other illnesses. EARTH's Community Development Program helps install biodigesters that aid rural farmers in converting manure into pathogen-free organic fertilizer & bio-gas that can be used for cooking and heating.
Students & professors work with farmers to install biodigesters, which decontaminate waste water and provide ample methane gas for cooking. Families save money by having a free supply of fuel & organic fertilizer to use on crops, lessening illness.
One biodigester can produce 6 hours of cooking gas per day, for an annual savings of $200. A viable solution for the sustainable management of livestock and human waste, it also replaces wood stoves, a major source of pollution and deforestation.