Globally 491 people die each hour due to deadly cooking smoke. Help a Bhutanese family access the most affordable cooking energy solution ever!
- Saving lives by eliminating deadly cooking smoke completely
- Improving environment by using 100% sustainable fuel and reducing carbon emissions by replacing open fire and fossil fuel based cooking
- Benefits poorest of the poor through our unique inclusive model and give thousands of people a way out of poverty
A Global Problem – which affects everyone – yes! You as well…
Did you know that in 2017 a kitchen robot that can cook 2000 different meals will come to market – and at the same time more than 2.5 BILLION people still cook over open fires using firewood, charcoal and animal dung – the way it has been practiced since we discovered fire?
This problem is one of world’s biggest social and environmental problems.
We have a solution – a Crowdsourced Solution
The technology of smokeless stoves and renewable fuel to solve this problem already exists, but it is too expensive to reach the masses because, “Those who need it, can’t afford it and those who can afford it, don’t need it!” This is where Dazin (a cooperative in Bhutan) comes in to make already existing technology affordable by its unique inclusive model.
For example, a woman living in a rural area of Bhutan gives her wood waste to us, instead of burning it as she normally do. We turn this crowdsourced wood waste into condensed fuel ‘cookie’ and in return, give her a smokeless cookstove on lease and enough fuel cookies to cover her needs. The surplus fuel (70%) made from her crowdsourced wood waste, is sold at a competitive price to urban customers ensuring economic sustainability and further development. The stove cost in rural areas is recovered within 7 months due to the fuel sales in cities. Imagine your impact being doubled every 7 months.
Dazin saves lives, reduces carbon emissions and gives people a way out of poverty.
Impact – what have we done
Tshering Tumang, an asthma patient said “We were not able to afford to use LPG gas regularly for cooking and doctor has advice me to stay away from the open fire smoke. The experience of clean cooking provided by Dazin has improved my life and now I have no problem in cooking regarding the smoke, blackness of walls and eye irritation. We are saving $3 every month by avoiding not to go to city to purchase gas.”
We had 55 households (benefiting 300+ people) in our pilot project and proven the willingness of rural and urban customers to use our products:
- 100% retention rate in rural and urban areas
- 50% cost reduction in cooking bills of the restaurants in our targeted city
- Saved 160 tons of carbon emissions
- 200+ waiting list of new users registered including in urban areas
Awards won by Dazin – standing with us since the beginning
Dazin seems to be winning well-known awards, so why crowdfund?
So far, the work of Dazin has been out of pocket expenses provided by the founders. Yes we have won awards, which helped us to conduct successful pilot project, built a strong team and raised funds to purchase fuel production equipment. However we need your help to make a strong base in Bhutan so that we can start replicating our work in other areas.
Our Vision – Let’s Cook Up a Better Future!
Our vision is to eliminate deadly cooking smoke completely. The countries shown in red have a very high death burden from Household Air Pollution. These are the same countries where our solution can make the biggest difference and where we are interested in scaling our model. Let’s make open cooking fire history – something we only see in museums by 2040.
Our Team – who’s behind the scenes?
Deepak Ashwani (from India), Executive Director: Founder of Dazin and man of the world whose dream is to provide smoke-free sustainable cooking energy to millions across the continents.
Sangay Rinchen (from Bhutan), Marketing Director: Co-founder of Dazin, who has worked to make various forestry and socially innovative products accessible in the Bhutanese market.
Peter Martin Jakobsen (from Denmark), Business Development: Peter has been working for a decade within social innovation and impact technology through ethical and sustainable business practices.
Kinlay (from Bhutan), Operations Manager: Kinlay keeps the ship afloat and leads execution after working with Dazin for nearly a year, utilizing his diverse experience in village projects to mobilize the community.
Ann-Christina Salquist (from Denmark), Communications Manager: After working in Afghanistan with the Danish armed forces, Ann-Christina started working for social enterprises. She handles communications and brings new partners on-board.
Spark Team (from all over the world): We have a small army of volunteers, who are sparking big things by their energy and determination to make an impact. This crowdfunding planning will not be possible without them.
Frequently Asked Questions – the ones you are burning to ask..
Are you serious, a fuel cookie can really be used to cook a meal?
Yes, we are super serious. Compressing the renewable forestry wood waste (without using any chemicals) makes a fuel cookie. It burns very hot without any smoke from the stove. One fuel cookie can burn for ~9 minutes and it takes 84% less fuel than wood used in open fire. Our customers love to count the fuel cookies and use them optimally to make their meal. Every family knows after some experiments how many fuel cookies they need to make a particular meal.
Who is Deepak and why he is doing what he is doing?
After being at highest motorable road in the world (Ladakh, India), Climbing one of the most active volcanoes in the world (Goma, DR Congo), He is sailing Dazin’s ship to solve one of the biggest problems in the world.
Deepak was born in Taj-Mahal city, Agra in India (May 8th, 1986) and he received bachelor degree in Electronics engineering in Punjab, India (2007) and was recruited to join a lucrative job at multi-national French company (STMicroelectronics) as an Electronics Engineer. During this time, he travelled extensively in rural India. He noticed that most people are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty due to several time-consuming tasks, open cooking fires being one of the highest time consumers. He thought, “I was fortunate to be educated and get a nice job. Why don’t I focus all my energy for less fortunate people instead of keep doing the job I don’t even enjoy.”
He has found his purpose in life and resigned from his job in 2010. He enrolled in Environmental Management (Master’s) in Denmark, found the leaders in his areas (Eric Reynolds and Mattias Ohlson) and spent time working with them (in Sub-Saharan Africa) until he was confident to launch the best solution. Now he needs your support.
Who are the three movers and shakers of Dazin?
It all started when Curious Deepak crashed a Social Innovation conference in 2013 in Denmark and met Persistent Peter by accident while drinking beer. They realized their like-mindedness and joined hands to move on together. Soon after, Deepak was visiting Bhutan. Deepak crashed another conference about Organic Agriculture in a 5-star hotel in Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan). Over there, he met Farmer Sangay and 30 minutes meeting turned into 3 hours of long talk to understand each other’s work. They envisioned together seeing smoke-free kitchens in Bhutan. The journey of three movers and shakers started in 2013 and they are full of energy to make this big.
- In 2012, when we were improving our model by asking feedback, many people doubted the participation of rural people. So, we decided why not choose even more difficult geographical terrian to challenge our model
- We also found out that Bhutan is one of the highest firewood per capita consumers in the world
- The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) is totally dependent on unreliable and limited supply (only 700 tons/month) of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) provided by Indian Government. In July 2013, Indian Government had cut the LPG subsidy resulting in cooking energy crisis in Bhutan (http://www.bbs.bt/news/?p=28939).
- The price of imported LPG is increasing by 6-8% every year along with the price of transporting LPG cylinders in mountainous terrain. Many small scale restaurants have closed due to the rising price of commercial LPG ($1.84/kg presently)
Are there any limits to provide forestry waste for rural households?
We make sure that no household collects trees as feedstock or over-consumes fuel cookies by implementing the following conditions:
- Annual maximum limit of forestry waste collection per household
- More than 10 cm diameter wood branches are not accepted (chopped branches are also not accepted)
- Periodic third party environmental impact assessments
- Feedback surveys to measure the reduction in wood collection and time
How do you distribute your products?
Dazin has developed an inclusive supply-chain to access raw material, distribute fuel cookies and provide after-sales services. We prefer to choose disadvantaged women for our Collection Point (CP) and we give them the training to manage it. CP is situated on local women’s open unused land (near to a suitable roads) for which they get the stove without providing any leasing fee in return. We only put 10-15 small bamboo poles to uniquely identify different households wood waste.
The rural households bring bundled forestry waste to a conveniently located CP and place it next to their unique bamboo pole, where it is weighed twice a month and transported to the production site. In return, the fuel cookies issued to respective households are stored inside the women’s house (as it does not consume much space) responsible for CP and further collected by the rural households respectively. Households also have a high degree of trust as they are dealing with people within their own community. Apart from few locally sourced bamboos, there is no cost spent on the infrastructure to build CPs.
How does the stove work and who makes them?
About 3-8 pieces of fuel cookies are placed in the stove chamber and lighted from top using dry grass or small piece of paper. In less than 30 seconds, the stove’s small fan (similar to a computer fan) can be turned on, which blows air through holes at the bottom and the top of the chamber. The fire temperature increases until it reaches ~1000°C/1832°F, causing the fuel cookies to gasify. Hot gas floats to the top and meets more air to combust completely – without producing any smoke. Does it sound rocket science? It is simple thermo-dynamics principle.
You can also use fuel pellets or dry wood twigs in the stove. The twigs will burn out quickly due to their lower density and higher moisture compared to fuel cookies. The stove produces 5 kW worth of energy, and the outer cover still does not become hot enough to cause injury. The stove runs of rechargeable battery and powers the fan for 21+ hours of cooking. The battery is charged using the solar panel or by plugging the charger in the grid. The combination of fuel cookies and gasifying stove use up to 84% less fuel compared to open fire cooking. Does it surprise you? We were sleepless for couple of nights when we found out this result. Try it yourself to find out the difference…..
Dazin manufactures fuel cookies, however our customers get a combined solution of Fuel + Stove. We buy the best fuel cookies burning gasifying stoves from our partners in India and South Africa.
You’ve convinced me with your model but how do you change the behavior of people cooking on open fire?
After several experiments, now we know what people are motivated by. We found out that when people see our Fuel Cookies and stove together in action, the product sells itself. This is the reason why we do many mass demonstrations to make tea/soup for the local people to communicate clearly that our system is:
- 50% less time consuming for firewood collection in rural areas and 50% cheaper than competition in urban areas (this is the biggest motivation to change behaviour)
- Smokeless, reliable and cooks faster than open fire and LPG without changing the taste of food
Word of mouth spread among those who were unable to see it, with many people quoting “We haven’t seen anything like this before.”
What does busy people think about Dazin?
Dazin addresses the complexities of open fire cooking with a comprehensive sustainable solution that tackles the root of the problem. Huzzah! Not only that, their replicable model significantly promotes environmental conservation with a financially sustainable model to provide affordable cooking energy solution for all. I feel very lucky to have connected with Deepak. ~Jerry Greenfield, co-founder Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Dazin is connected to the very fabric of Bhutanese Culture; it is about being mindful, respectful of living and non-living things, serving and looking after others, taking care of natural environment and living with innate human values….all these is Gross National Happiness (GNH). Thus, Dazin directly contributes to the fulfillment of GNH. ~Saamdu Chetri, Executive Director, Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan
I and Ashoka have been delighted to support Dazin as a winner of our social entrepreneurship competition 2013. Open cooking fires cause huge social and environmental challenges around the world and we need innovative scalable solutions to change the sector for good. Dazin is doing just that by providing affordable, reliable and renewable fuel while also generating jobs. ~Rob Wilson, Director, Ashoka UK
There are so many awesome things here, but there must be some risks or competition as well?
Yes, you are right but we are well prepared to face them:
|Potential Risk||Mitigation Management|
|Customers reject stoves and prefer other options||We have multiple stove suppliers to meet the demands of diverse customer segments. We will include more mass demonstrations, training sessions and house visits.|
|Rural customers compete to bring enough forestry waste||Dazin collects 50% lesser wood waste than status quo. Our focus area has abundant resources, it is less likely for people to compete for it. We also encourage people to provide agricultural waste such as corn cobs. Our pilot has proven that people do not compete. We also aim to buy timber mills waste to diversify our supplies in future.|
|Our competitor (fossil fuel gas) prices decrease or do not increase as expected||Dazin has high profit margin even after selling fuel cookies at 50% cheaper price than fossil fuel gas. Any deviation in gas prices will have minor effect on our profits. We aim to keep focus on commercial cooking customers while increasing other customers base.|
|Other organizations started selling cheaper fuel||Competition in cooking fuel production is the sign for sustainability. Our stoves are not sold, which makes the competition difficult to sell the fuel cookies to our stove users.|
Woow, I love what you are doing. How can I contribute more apart from funding the project?
We will make you part of our family. Become Dazin’s Passionate Cookie and contribute in following ways:
- Thunderclap: Join our massive online flash mob by clicking http://thndr.it/1I7pj6c. It takes 10 seconds to join and its completely safe.
- Share: Post on your FB / Twitter / LinkedIn and change status of your Gtalk, Skype, etc. to this campaign link.
- Reach Out: Call/ask at-least 5 new people to inform about this campaign.
- Connect: Introduce us to an organization, blogger, chef, media, famous people, etc. to amplify the campaign message
- Walk a Talk: Give a talk about Dazin in my present/previous school, company, hobby clubs, etc.
Do you have more suggestions or any questions, please write to our Clever Cookie at email@example.com