In a design studio on Vashon Island, Peter Scott is cooking up solutions to big problems. His company, Burn Design Lab, is on a mission to reduce global warming and respiratory illness by creating highly efficient and affordable stoves that can replace the open-fire cooking pits used in developing countries. Those pits pump out emissions that make people sick and pollute the air, and they contribute to deforestation as trees are chopped down for fuel.
Scott started making stoves more than 15 years ago, after seeing extensive deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; now, his company’s superefficient stoves are found in several countries, including the Congo. The Burn team designs and engineers a new stove specifically for each location, to make the best use of available materials and fuels, and to work well with local cuisine and culture. The stoves are then mass-produced in country. At press time, Burn was ready to start manufacturing a new stove in East Africa, hoping to produce 3 million units in the next 10 years.