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Nancy Hughes – Founder, Stove Team International

September 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Stove Team helps local entrepreneurs establish factories in Latin America. These self-sustaining businesses produce safe, affordable, fuel-efficient cookstoves to replace dangerous open cooking fires.

Why stoves? Smoke from open cooking fires kills more than eight times as many people as does malaria. Daily cooking is the equivalent to mothers and children smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. Four million women and children suffer painful and debilitating burns from their cooking fires. 500 million cook fires emit nearly one billion tons of greenhouse gases each year and cause massive deforestation. An average man, woman or child spends 20 hours each week gathering wood. Wood collection takes valuable time that could be spent at work or school.

In 2007, Nancy Hughes and a team of volunteers from the Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club wrote a Rotary matching grant and invented a small portable stove – the Ecocina, which produces almost no smoke and uses less than half the wood of an open fire. The Ecocina reduced carbon emissions by 68% and particulate matter by over 86%. Aprovecho Research Center has verified that the Ecocina is one of the most efficient “rocket stoves” in the world.

In 2008, StoveTeam International began assisting local entrepreneurs establish sustainable factories to produce Ecocina stoves. The factories, started by using Rotary matching grants, use all local materials and employ only local men and women, important in developing countries where unemployment sometimes exceeds 50%.

For her work, Nancy has been honored as a Rotary White House Champion of Change and has been featured on the PBS Newshour. She is a CNN Hero, and the recipient of the prestigious International Purpose Prize.


September 22, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Liberty Station Conference Center
2600 Laning Road
San Diego, CA 92106 United States
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