The blue flame

From a message just received from the World Wildlife Fund:

In Nepal, a blue flame is a life-changing experience.

The blue flame, powered by biogas, provides a valuable cooking source as well as light and heat for many homes.

It’s life-changing because women are no longer stuck in unhealthy smoke-filled kitchens. And, they no longer have to search for firewood from wood debris or cut down trees or branches in nearby forests. That time can instead be spent on any number of other projects, from advancing an education to starting a business.

This clean, odorless blue flame comes from a combination of cow dung, other waste and some water. It is a positive and hopeful sign in the Terai Arc landscape of Nepal for both overcoming poverty and protecting the environment.

Just below the Himalayas, the forests and grasslands of the Terai Arc are home to many villages–and also many majestic species, including elephants, rhinos and tigers. WWF has helped to protect this region by working closely with local governments and communities to put biogas stoves in Nepalese homes.

And this is why the blue flame is so important.

Instead of burning about 5 pounds of wood each day for cooking, lighting and heating, a biogas stove burns none. Residents of biogas homes no longer have to search for wood scraps and make deeper excursions into these precious forests to find fuel wood.

Biogas homes are great for Nepalese families. They are vital for reforestation and forest protection–forests that are home to elephants, rhinos and tigers.

Today there are 7,500 stoves in use in Nepal, saving 617 acres of forest annually–that’s 33,000 tons of fuel wood saved. Each stove eliminates four metric tons of CO2 equivalents annually. And, in five years, we’ll be well on our way to 40,000 biogas stoves across the Nepalese landscape.

The blue flame really is a symbol of hope and success in Nepal and for our work protecting amazing wildlife.

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