Need for Cookstoves: Over 5 million families in Mexican still use wood for their daily cooking needs. According to UNFCC, this cooking practice requires 19 million tons of wood a year. The Mexican government also reports that harmful cookstove smoke kills more than 18,000 people each year.
Project Description: EcoZoom responded to an RFP by the Mexican government to create a stove that would reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions, reduce indoor air pollution, be safe for users and able to cook two dishes and tortillas at the same time. Thus Zoom Plancha was born. Next, we went to Mexico to teach representatives from civil associations on how to use and install the stoves. We even got to install some with them! Now these trainers have trained others in their association and each state is given a stove budget by the federal government to continue purchasing stoves. The EcoZoom office in Mexico now handles all the sales, logistics and additional trainings needed.
Unique Project Aspects: We branded our plancha stove to fit the local context. Zoom Plancha’s name in Mexico is La Mera Mera. La Mera Mera is the matriarch of the house and the one who knows best; she is the supreme one in the house. Cooks immediately connected with the stove because of this name and would tell their friends about it. Then their friends wanted the La Mera Mera of stoves because they were the La Mera Mera of the house. This cultural reference and small change to the product was instrumental in increasing demand getting citizens to petition the government for more stoves in their village.