Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Love Easy Ways to Make a Difference

As we all know design can be more than just beautiful: a well designed object can make people's lives easier. We've all had those moments when we've interacted with something, and thought, wow, that's so simple and effective why didn't I think of that?

Sometimes design can not only make people's lives easier, but it can save lives. The Arivi paraffin stove is such a design. But it doesn't stop at simply saving: it improves quality of life, providing an alternative that is cheaper and also that reduces other health risks. Tell me more! I hear you say. Well, let's start at the beginning (I may go on a bit more than is necessary but for my readers who not familiar with South Africa, I would rather over explain).

For a lot of reasons many South Africans find themselves living in informal settlements (townships, or shanty towns) near or in urban environments. They are faced daily with harsh living conditions, often making homes that are built from corrugated iron, cardboard and other left-over materials (even insulating the walls with paper). There are usually little or no sanitation facilities, and no electricity. Cooking is often done over a paraffin stove. And many thousands each year face being hurt or killed by fires very often started by those paraffin stoves.

The Arivi stove was designed to alleviate this situation. A paraffin stove that firstly addresses safety: the stove turns off if moved, dropped, or if it falls over. Secondly, it burns more efficiently than other paraffin stoves and thus cooks more quickly and costs less to run (up to 32% less). It also reduces indoor air pollution, dropping carbon monoxide to less than half than what is stipulated by law.

Deservedly the Arivi stove has been nominated for an INDEX Award, and is a finalist, in the Home Category.

BUT to manufacture the stove, the guys at Arivi need 10,000 pre-orders. The great thing for us lucky enough to not need an Arivi stove is that we can buy one and it is sent via a charity to someone who does. I have asked the guys at Arivi how many pre-orders they have, and will let you know as soon as I've heard back from them (the website doesn't seem clear on this). But why wait when you can add to the list now? An Arivi stove costs R500, which is about $64 (plus about $8 for shipping it to a family who needs it).

Go here now to add your name to the pre-orders and help thousands of people live safer, and healthier lives.

(thanks to Babazeka for posting on this great project)

1 comment:

Anabel Fournier said...

Great idea and much needed. Clean, simple design that can make a difference in many people's lives.