Ian Lewis replied 11th Jun '15:
This observation questions how these people might improve their lives through different cooking systems, skills and opportunities. Access to alternatives is blocked by - a lack of knowledge, a lack of cash or by a lack of alternative resources all of which will be influenced, probably negatively through culture issues.
So solutions include: not travelling to such areas without some quality equipment, some willingness and scheduled time to help, some donation system which is well managed, ensuring no support is given to inappropriate cultural happenings and ensuring on walks one's talk by exhibiting low-carbon, sustainable, low cost methods of travel. If one is the change, then change must be happening. There are many forms of low-impact stove which can be made from water and mud on site....one must know a few versions if one wishes to travel freely in these areas, otherwise travellers will merely aggravate the status quo.
Jill Baumgartner replied 6th Apr '15:
The smoke from cooking with firewood contributes to almost 4 million deaths per year and its a major contributor to climate warming and glacial melting in regions like the Himalayas. Electric stoves or cleaner-burning fuels like LPG can dramatically reduce people's exposure to smoke, but there needs to be plans in place to get these fuels to remote homes. More efficient wood-burning stoves also exist and may also be a possible solution to reduce smoke and fuelwood requirements, though none have been as successful in reducing air pollution as electricity or gaseous fuels.