with Fuel-efficient, Environmentally Conscious Stoves


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Globally, more than 3.8 million people—mainly women and children—die annually due to chronic smoke inhalation from open indoor cooking fires. This staggering number is a result of the fact that over 3 billion people still cook on open fires and rudimentary cookstoves. Fuel efficient stoves can significantly reduce the amount of smoke in the household, greatly improving the health and quality of life for entire families.

ECOLIFE installs fuel efficient cookstoves in Mexico as an alternative to the traditional three-stone fires responsible for the deaths of millions. Known as Patsari Stoves, these types of stoves are fuel-efficient, environmentally conscious alternatives that significantly reduce smoke related illnesses and serious burns.


These types of alternative indoor, wood-burning stoves are at least 50 percent more fuel-efficient than cooking over a traditional open fire and they also reduces respiratory ailments by at least 30 percent by decreasing hazardous smoke emissions. The fuel efficiency of the stoves means that 50 percent less wood is needed and, consequently, fewer trees are destroyed.

Since 2004, ECOLIFE has built more than 1,000 permanent, ventilated, safe, fuel-efficient stoves in several ejidos (communities) in Central Mexico that are selected based on their geographical impact on the critical butterfly reserves and surrounding forests. The goal of this ongoing project is to build as many fuel-efficient stoves as possible to protect the over-wintering habitat of the monarch butterfly that migrates to Mexico and to improve the quality of life for the people utilizing it.

The depletion of wood for cooking fires causes immense habitat destruction for the fragile forest ecosystem, and is a significant contributor to global warming. The serious impact of these indoor fires is not just limited to the environment. For people, the reliance on inefficient cookstoves and fuels leads to serious health impacts from smoke exposure (emphysema, heart disease, cancer, cataracts, etc.) and economic burdens that disproportionately impact women and girls, particularly because cooking and fuel collection largely remain a woman’s responsibility.


This stove program is part of our overarching mission: to conserve endangered species and natural resources in order to better the lives of those who are charged with the stewardship of our natural treasures. Our work here at ECOLIFE is based on the premise that quality of life and conservation are not trade-offs—they instead go hand-in-hand. ECOLIFE implements culturally appropriate programs that result in immediate and measurable benefits to the endangered species, the human community and their natural resources.

The Mexico Community FuelWood Project and Monarch Butterflies, is a community-based conservation project that protects monarch butterfly habitats and directly improves the quality of life of communities within and surrounding Central Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR). ECOLIFE builds fuel-efficient Patsari stoves to protect the forests which are the lifeblood for people and butterflies alike.

Program Accomplishments

  • Protected more than 3,000 people in Central Mexico from household burns and smoke-related respiratory ailments by installing more than 500 patsari stoves.
  • Protected tens of thousands of trees from cutting as wood-for-fuel.
  • Offset upwards of 8,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
  • Improved overall health of 650 Ugandan students and increased their time in classrooms.


Your generous donation helps improve the quality of life for humans, wildlife and nature—and helps light their fire, safely. With just one $150 donation, you can feel good knowing that your generosity provided a community in Mexico with a safer, more fuel-efficient stove.


Did You Know?

With every $150 donation, ECOLIFE provides job opportunities for local people to build and install a highly efficient wood burning Patsari stove for a home in Central Mexico and enters the family into our health and monitoring program.

“This stove does not create smoke in my house since it has a chimney, which is much better for my lungs and my family. Having this stove has made our lives much better.”

Maria Isabelle

Mexico Stove Recipient

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