Supporting clean and healthy environment through energy efficient cooking solutions
Sustain Plus leverages technology to help reduce the risk to women’s health in rural India by facilitating their access to clean cooking solutions. Sustain Plus enables households and community spaces such as government schools, anganwadis, and commercial cooking establishments to shift to clean cooking by providing need-based solutions. It supports the use of cost-effective clean fuel such as biogas in communities owning livestock, and provides energy efficient cooking solutions through new and improved products in areas where existing use of fuel cannot be replaced.
Clean cooking solutions help reduce carbon emission by lessening the use of biomass, curb environmental degradation, lessen drudgery, and reduce time and cost of cooking while making the process healthier. It also helps women improve their income by providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities through the creation of organic manure value chains.
According to National Sample Survey’s Office (NSSO) report (76th round), only 48.3% households in rural India have access to and use LPG in comparison to 86.6% of households in urban areas. 44.5% of rural households said they still use firewood, crop residue, and dung cakes, etc. as primary fuel for cooking. In households having access to LPG, the practice of using multiple fuels has continued due to the high cost of refilling LPG cylinders.
As cooking and collection of biomass are considered women’s chores, both add a huge burden on their health. They not only have to carry back the firewood but also spend a lot of time in smoke-filled kitchens as traditional mud stoves do not burn biomass efficiently. For rural households where income is limited, biomass helps save on expenses as they come largely for free or at an affordable cost.