Simple cooking technologies save money, fuel, and forests in Nepal


 Like too many other countries throughout the world, Nepal is facing serious deforestation as the rural people scavenge firewood for cooking and heating. And the urban dwellers of Nepal, who rely on kerosene and petrol, face shortages and high prices. Furthermore, they live amidst mounds of uncollected trash. Sanu Kaji Shrestha has come up with solutions that are plentiful, affordable and even address problems of pollution. Seven years ago, Sanu Kaji founded FoST - Foundation for Sustainable Technologies, which trains people in the use of sustainable technologies that save money, save energy and save the environment.  His recent honor was the Science and Technology Promotion Award for 2010 from Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), for his development of low cost cooking fuel made of recycled materials. He made headlines for being the runner-up for the BBC World Challenge in 2007.    Sanu Kaji has travelled to several countries, including Afghanistan, Kenya and Peru, sharing his knowlege of briquette making, as a greener substitute for cooking fuel. He spoke in SE Portland on March 26, and provided this simple demonstration -- how one person can easily mash and liquify paper and fibrous trash into pulp, and use the pulp to form the briqettes.  After a couple of days to dry, the briquettes can be used for cooking or heating, and emit 70% less smoke than firewood.   On March 23rd, I was able to speak with Sanu and was immensely impressed with his dedication and the simplicity and usefulness of his technologies:  





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