What do you first think of when you hear the term “clean air”?

4 min read

Clean Air Day 2020

Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today, resulting in issues such as low birth weight and child lung development. This Clean Air Day, while we are mindful of pollution at home, we are also considering issues that others face across the world, and how we can help them.

What do you first think of when you hear the term “clean air”?

It can mean different things to different people, depending on how it affects you. For many of us, this means reducing pollution by switching to things like carpooling, cycling, and finding ways to holiday more sustainably. But for some people, “clean air” hits much closer to home: it means getting the chance to remove indoor pollution from their own houses.

We are referring to the very real issue that many people face in developing countries. Indoor pollution, created by smoke from firewood and charcoal used to cook food and warm homes, is a major cause of death for women and children. 

The State of Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services report finds that 4 billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy. While around 1.25 billion are considered in transition with access to improved cooking services, the other 2.75 billion face significantly higher access barriers.

But… how does this relate to Bolt?

We believe sustainability is a human rights issue; it’s more than us being mindful about how we use the planet’s resources in our individual lives. We cannot be sustainable without thinking about people, how they live, and how environmental issues impact their health and standard of living.

Because of this, and to negate our own carbon emissions, we purchase carbon credits which support projects to provide fuel efficient stoves for families that need them.

In honour of Clean Air Day in the UK this year, 10% of all Bolt Beauty’s sales will go to the Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project from 8th October – 11th October. You can also donate here.


What is happening?

Not only do 90% of households in Sudan rely on wood and charcoal for their fuel, it is expensive to buy, pollutes their homes and on top of that – is a cause of mass deforestation in the area. Wood and charcoal cooking is inefficient, and therefore takes a long time to prepare meals. This is time consuming, hard work, that has devastating effects. According toEcoAct, health issues related to indoor air pollution in Sudan kill more people than Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV combined.

This is also a gender issue, women traditionally do the cooking and so spend long hours surrounded by smoke causing eye and chest infections and respiratory diseases. The World Health Organisation states that this indoor smoke exposes women and young children to pollution 100 times higher than acceptable levels.

 

"Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) stoves have lower greenhouse gas emissions than any other fossil fuel, with 50% fewer carbon emissions than coal, and 20% less than heating oil" – EcoAct.

 

The solution?

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) stoves. They use less fuel, and save around 65% on monthly fuel bills. The projects we support make fuel-efficient stoves affordable via micro-finance loans. Without external support for these initiatives, it would be unfeasible for poor communities to transition to better cooking methods.

The benefits are both environmental and social:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. Each LPG stove distributed avoids about 4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year and reduces twice the amount of GHG emissions compared to more efficient biomass stoves
  • Air quality is improved
  • In 2017, 24,000 tonnes of wood was saved
  • Women have more time to work (as less time is spent collecting fuel and cooking) which provides additional opportunities to earn an income for them and their families
  • The microfinance initiatives are run by women. Female entrepreneurs are empowered and gender inequality reduced as women deliver the stoves through the microfinance schemes

The initiatives

There are many other initiatives that are making a huge difference by providing these energy efficient alternatives to families, namely: Gold Standard, EcoAct, United Nations Climate Change, Clean Cooking Alliance and Carbon Clear alongside the Women’s Development Association.

In our next blog post, we will be taking a closer look at how this affects women in particular, and the impacts that the 2020 global health crisis has had on this already very pressing issue.

 

10% off all weekend:

In honour of clean air day, 10% of all Bolt Beauty’s sales will go to the Darfur Low-Smokes Stoves Project this weekend.

Don't forget you can also donate here.


Kelly Washington

Kelly is Bolt's Social Media Manager and London-based freelance Fashion and Arts journalist.

She has an MA in Fashion Communication from Central Saint Martins and a BA in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Manchester. She has written for Hunger Magazine, TANK, Miuse and Fashion Unfiltered covering a range of topics including fashion, music, youth culture and art. For copywriting and commissions email kelly.washington1@outlook.com.

Kelly Washington - Bolt Beauty

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