What happens when an engineer meets a climate change expert? This is the story of One Earth Designs, a social enterprise that develops sustainable solutions responding to the need of the rural communities in the Himalayas.
The Global Alliance for Clean Stoves states that "exposure to smoke from traditional stoves and open fires -- the primary means of cooking for nearly three billion people in the developing world -- causes four million premature deaths annually, with women and children particularly affected."
Scot Frank was still an engineering student when he first came across the dangerous cooking habits of the rural communities in Western China.
At the same time and during a research on climate change in the rural Himalayas, Catlin Powers was faced with a startling question: "Why are you and all the other scientists always studying outdoor pollution when the real problem is the pollution inside our homes?"
When Scot and Catlin crossed paths, a simple yet highly sustainable and effective solution to the issue of toxic cooking stoves emerged -- the Solsource. The Solsource is a parabolic solar cooker that converts ray of light into heat for cooking.
One Earth Designs' uniqueness comes from the cooperation around the design of each sustainable product: "Our mission is to promote, encourage and foster the unique ideas of sustainability that communities around the world have, our work starts with communities coming to us, wanting to collaborate in developing solutions together.
Stay tuned as we profile six young entrepreneurs with ground-breaking solutions making sustainable living more commonplace around the world. Hear inspring young people talk about the challenges of changemaking, their innovative solutions and the value of participating in challenges like the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards.
Calling all young sustainability entrepreneurs! Unilever, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Ashoka Changemakers are looking for the next generation of business leaders. Do you have an innovative solution? Enter it today.
Story by Pauline Verhaeghe, Community Engagement Associate at Ashoka UK and co-founder of the GoYoung Project