To help address the environmental and health problems caused by cooking on firewood and charcoal, a group of dedicated doñas (this is a respectful reference to older women) and I decided to build improved cookstoves in my community. These stoves have an enclosed cooking chamber that burns firewood more efficiently than cooking out in the open. The fire inside the stove heats up two hot plates, so Dominican women can still cook their daily pots of rice and beans, but unlike an open fire, these stoves have chimneys that take smoke away from the cook. 
Also, the improved cookstoves reduce the use of charcoal by rural families, because the stoves work best when dry firewood is used. Less charcoal use means that more trees in my community can remain standing! 
- Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer Courtney Columbus on the EPA blog

To help address the environmental and health problems caused by cooking on firewood and charcoal, a group of dedicated doñas (this is a respectful reference to older women) and I decided to build improved cookstoves in my community. These stoves have an enclosed cooking chamber that burns firewood more efficiently than cooking out in the open. The fire inside the stove heats up two hot plates, so Dominican women can still cook their daily pots of rice and beans, but unlike an open fire, these stoves have chimneys that take smoke away from the cook.

Also, the improved cookstoves reduce the use of charcoal by rural families, because the stoves work best when dry firewood is used. Less charcoal use means that more trees in my community can remain standing!

- Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer Courtney Columbus on the EPA blog

dominican republic climate change environmental awareness cookstoves community economic development Peace Corps Volunteers Environmental Protection Agency EPA

erinmalay:

Today I accompanied two volunteers, who actively work with Green Camel Bell, a local environmental protection NGO. Lanzhou is not only one of the most polluted cities in China, it ranked bottom in the World Health Organization’s study as one of the most air polluted cities in the world. The idea of environmentalism is still relatively knew in China, as many people only focus on building industry and turn a blind eye to the destruction being done to our earth. 

We went to the outskirt of Lanzhou to a “rubbish place,” or rather, a dump. Here, trash is not being properly disposed of, simply being poured into a gigantic hole. As more and more trash has been dumped here, the increase in methane became so rapid to the point that trash has been repeatedly self-igniting. These volunteers previously worked with this area, bringing journalists out and having a story published, causing the local government to act. However, the local government’s solution was only temporary, pour water onto the fires.

Moving forward to continue efforts to resolve this problem, today’s focus was on taking air quality measurements, counting the number of recent self-ignited fires, and using some good ol’ photography to hopefully put together yet another story.

Though it seems few people in China seem to truly care about these devastating effects, as one volunteer said, “I care, and he cares, and you care, and that’s something.”  

(via erinmalay-deactivated20130112)

China NGO Peace Corps Volunteer air quality environment environmental awareness environmental protection health pollution polution recycling trash Lanzhou

Peace Corps Volunteers Commemorate Earth Day

Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide commemorated Earth Day by working with people in their local communities to become more environmentally conscious and protect the local ecosystem. Volunteers regularly help communities organize recycling projects and environmental youth clubs, assist with park management, and forest, soil, and marine conservation.

(Source: go.usa.gov)

Cambodia Malawi Paraguay Earth Day environment environmental awareness fuel efficient rivers climate change community development youth recycling parks marine conservation Peace Corps Volunteers Peace Corps