Most of us who are living in the privileged urban parts of the world don’t know much about dung stoves as we’re too busy cooking on our bourgoise LPG stoves, yet, the cooking conditions for millions around the world aren’t as easy breezy nor healthy. Statistics show a bleak picture as about 1.6 million people die from indoor pollution mainly because they inhale toxic fumes while cooking food.
Aiming for better cooking conditions for Tibetan nomads, Liz To, a student at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, has come up with the super cool looking Thab, a eco friendly dung stove made of recycled materials. Liz states that over 3.5 billion wire hangers, mainly coming to US homes along with their dry cleaned clothes, end up in the U.S. landfills every year. To help reduce the landfill clutter in the US, as well as give Tibetan nomads a better cooking stove, Liz has developed the Thab by cutting and bending the metal wire of the clothes hangers.
Tibetan nomads mainly cook and live inside tents and for cooking they usually use the three stone cooking method using yak dung as the fuel. Apart from being highly inefficient, the three stone cooking stove causes health issues since a lot of smoke is emitted from the burning of dung.
The Thab is made using 64 strands wound together to strengthen the structure with a series of cross-struts providing additional support to the pans placed above the burner. To make the system efficient, the burning chamber is lined with clay and on the outside some stones are placed to keep heat inside the chamber only and directed to the pot or pan above it. Since Tibetan nomads are mostly on the move, the stove can easily be disassembled for easy transportation.
Who knows, maybe even the urban privileged might have to use dung stoves one day..