The Paradigm Project: Stoves

Posted by Penny on February 29, 2012
Food, Not-for-profit / No Comments

I really think The Rocket Stove by The Paradigm Project is probably eco friendly design at its finest and simplest. As The Paradigm Project states, almost 50% of the world’s population uses open fire for cooking and heating. As romantic as an open fire can be, when they’re the only option and are used en masse, day in and day out, they lead to respiratory problems, pollution and deforestation.

The Paradigm Project’s plan is simple (and grand) – to distribute 5 million stoves in developing countries by the year 2020.

Their stoves are simple and are still woodfired, but great design means they’re more effective than cooking over an open fire. Read more about their stoves here. Of course more effective stoves mean less wood is used, which is a great thing. When I think of eco-design I usually think independent businesses using eco-friendly materials to create gorgeous things – I’m glad to be reminded there are so many different types of design.

The Paradigm Project has a really neat website with a tonne of info (and infographics!) so go check it out!

Get involved here, or even fund a stove!


(Images via The Paradigm Project).

The Information Blanket

Posted by Penny on June 27, 2011
Babies, Not-for-profit / 1 Comment

The Information Blanket is truly amazing. The aim of The Information Blanket project is to provide basic knowledge which is easily accessible on the blanket the baby is wrapped in! The information varies slightly in each language, but includes feeding frequencies, temperature & vaccination information. We’re lucky in developed countries to have such a low infant mortality rate. Australia’s infant mortality rate is sadly 4.4 babies dying before their 1st birthday per 1000 live births. In the USA it’s 6.3. In Uganda it’s 76.9, and in Afghanistan it’s 157 babies per 1000. A lot more.

All new mums that I know have panics over what immunisations their babies should have, if they’re too fat/skinny/big/small, what their temperature should be (plus, why on earth they won’t stop crying!) We’re so lucky in developed countries that we have great access to doctors & nurses, books, people, the internet, and other resources to get all the information we need. The people behind The Information Blanket see this information gap in developing regions of the world, and I love that it’s really such a simple project, but it can have SO MUCH impact on a new mum who may not have access to basic information resources.

The blankets are made in the USA on soft double cotton knit, and are stitched up and printed with water-based ink. If you visit The Information Blanket you can make a donation of $25 which will pay for one blanket to be delivered to a Ugandan mum, or you can buy your own for US$40 plus shipping & tax and a second blanket will go to Uganda on your behalf. The Information Blanket works with The Shanti Uganda Society to deliver the blankets.


All images courtesy The Information Blanket.

Found via Inhabitots.

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Invisible Children + Mend Bags

Posted by Penny on May 26, 2011
Fashion, Not-for-profit / 1 Comment

Whilst it’s so shitty that organisations like Invisible Children have to exist, it’s also uplifting and inspiring to see them operating. Invisible Children began when three filmmakers journeyed through northern Uganda and saw the reality of children being both the victims of war, and the soldiers fighting (mostly for the LRA). These filmmakers created a documentary about the war, but wanted to do more.

Invisible Children is now a not-for-profit organisation operating in Uganda, employing people who have survived the war, as well as contributing infrastructure and knowledge to the region.

Invisible Children make Mend bags and organic cotton tees – the organic cotton is grown in Uganda, and sewn right there into cute (and inexpensive!) t-shirts. You can also buy documentaries, films & books on their site!

As per the Mend website: Mend allows you to purchase a handbag made in northern Uganda and know the story of the specific woman who created it – former LRA abductees whose names are sewn into each bag. You can pay by credit card or Paypal, and Mend bags can be posted worldwide.

Invisible Children currently offers two styles of Mend bag – the Mend Treahouse in canary yellow (my favourite!) or black, and the Mend Messenger in clay or black.

Invisible Children is such a great organisation, and they have a ton of information about Uganda and the LRA on their site – take a look!

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All photos from Invisible Children

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