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Cooking With (Bio)Gas

Who knew changing a common kitchen appliance could lead to big conservation wins? When WWF replaces wood-burning stoves with biogas stoves in Nepal's Terai Arc Landscape, people get healthier and don't have to cut down their forests to get fuel.

ONE VILLAGE, ONE BAND

Two-time Grammy-winning band Linkin Park has joined forces with WWF to provide one entire village in Nepal with biogas cookstoves. Learn how you can help.

WIN-WIN

Biogas units reduce the demand for wood to cook with, which conserves about 254 acres of forest a year in Nepal and leaves more forest standing as healthy habitat for critically endangered species like tigers, elephants and rhinos.

1. BREATHE EASY

In contrast to traditional wood fires, biogas burns a smoke-free flame. The resulting improved air quality reduces respiratory and eye-related illnesses, particularly among women and children, who spend the most time indoors. Globally, smoke-related disease kills 4 million people annually—more than AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis.

2. WASTE NOT

Biogas systems create methane cooking gas from the breakdown of animal, agricultural and human waste. When these natural byproducts are collected and recycled, less waste runs off into local waterways, resulting in improved water quality and a reduced chance of waterborne disease.

3. DIGEST THIS

The collected organic material feeds into a container buried in the ground (the “digester”), where the anaerobic environment breaks it down, creating methane. The biogas then rises into a storage tank and stays there until it is needed.

4. BLACK GOLD

Digested slurry—the solid byproduct of the decomposed waste—is used as a free, nutrient-rich fertilizer by many poor, rural farmers to help improve crop yields.

5. CLIMATE SMART

Left in nature, the methane emitted by human and animal waste is a potent polluter—each molecule has 20 times the greenhouse gas potential of CO2. Converting that gas into fuel for clean-burning stoves means less methane released into the atmosphere.

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World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

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