Oregon’s Aprovecho Research Center Builds Stoves to Help the Environment, Health, and Humanity
“The Row River and the Willamette’s coast fork converge at this mossy town nestled between the Coast Range and the Cascades. Oregon’s old-time timber culture and its storied counterculture do, too. It’s a town where, not far from the natural-foods store sits a meat-cutting school, and taking cover across Main Street from the Victorian antiques shop is a purveyor of fine machine guns.
“So another unlikely convergence shouldn’t surprise.
“Here, at a funky little farm populated by an amiable black Labrador and a bossy flock of free-range chickens, a band of Oregon engineers and dreamers last week welcomed representatives of the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“The distinguished visitors from Switzerland, Italy, Darfur, Sri Lanka and elsewhere came to study and debate ways to alleviate some of the globe’s most crushing health and environmental problems with one seemingly simple solution. To reduce lung-choking indoor air pollution and to stem deforestation and climate change, they want to equip nearly half the world with clean-burning, fuel-efficient, affordable cookstoves. An estimated 3 billion people don’t have that luxury.
“So, naturally, the delegation came to Cottage Grove, hotbed of cookstove innovation and technology, home of Aprovecho Research Center.”