Sustainable Rural Life is the new face of the Hot Pot initiative that was launched by the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature in 2003. Delivering solar Hot Pots and training communities how to use them served as an effective introduction to clean cooking and provided an alternative to burning firewood in indigenous communities around the country. Now the project has expanded to include other Eco-technologies and practices such as rain-water capture/storage and community waste management.
The World Health Organization estimates that the noxious smoke from traditional stoves is the 4th highest health risk factor in developing countries causing 1.9 premature deaths annually. In Mexico, rural communities suffer from the health effects of smoke inhalation and the economic and physical burden of collecting firewood. Since they typically surround priority conservation zones, members of these communities play an integral role in the preservation of our country's natural resources.
Sustainable Rural Life addresses the social and environmental consequences of burning firewood for cooking, light, and heat by gradually introducing Eco-technologies (mainly Clean Cookstoves and Hot Pots) that improve the health and household economy of rural communities in Mexico while reducing deforestation, the loss of biodiversity and the emission of greenhouse gases.
This is an integral project that offers diverse benefits for Mexican rural communities including long-term improvements in health, household budgets and the environment. The adoption of a Clean Cookstove reduces up to 95% of inhaled particles and soot generated by open-flame stoves and up to 60% of firewood consumption. The project also promotes gender equality since women reduce their daily exposure to smoke and strengthen their self-esteem as they become community leaders.