Outdoor Recreation, Off-Grid Households, and Why They Work Together to Shape The Future of Energy
Got two minutes? Watch the video above.
Got a few more minutes? Let’s talk about how you directly are helping us bring energy everywhere. From the purchases you make to the reviews you leave on our site, every interaction has an impact on what we do to reimagine energy on a personal scale:
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way – money matters. Your purchases create a steady stream of revenue, allowing us to build a stable business (in Chapter One of The Road To Impact we discuss the pitfalls of relying solely on donations or grant funding, more there). We know it might be tempting to say, “A $100 purchase gives a family electricity or a year!” or “Buy a stove, give a stove!” but we don’t do that. Why? Because honestly, that’s not how it works. Your dollars are agile: they can go any number of ways to helping us achieve top priorities at hand. That could be hiring a local team (like the awesome team we just built up in Kenya), investing in new research equipment, or building tricked out motorbikes to deliver stoves (see Chapter 8). The point is you give us the ability to invest in new ways to tackle big challenges.
When living off-grid, whether by choice, or by circumstance, similar needs arise: safe, reliable ways to cook, charge, and light daily life. Each time you share your experiences with us, we take that feedback and combine it with insights from our customers in Uganda, Kenya and India to design new products that can serve everyone’s needs. For example, guess what? We all want overhead lighting that can light multiple rooms, or sites, at once. That’s how the SiteLights were born. Our first insight came from a house visit in India, it was refined by ambassadors in the United States, and SiteLights are currently used all over the world by all of our customers. Your honest use of our gear helps to inform the future technologies and designs we’ll invest in for both the outdoor and emerging markets.
Anytime we tell someone that the smoke from indoor cooking fires kills four million people annually, we’re almost always met with a gasp followed by “I had NO idea.”
That’s where this community comes in – getting the word out. But we’re not going to do it through doom and gloom; we’re doing it with real solutions and some serious perseverance. And that takes all of us. Your support is a signal to the broader world that this is something worth caring about and that you believe we all have the potential to unlock a world of better energy. And your actual use of our products is instant proof to new BioLiters that we’re creating solutions that really work.
Each time you tell a neighboring camper about BioLite, email a friend about our Kickstarter campaign, or share how you’re bringing #energyeverywhere on Instagram, you’re helping grow the BioLite community. That, in turn, grows awareness about our mission and helps us gain momentum to grow and reach even more households living in energy poverty. This public display of support not only inspires our team to keep going (we love your emails!), it helps build confidence with our HomeStove customers. They take pride in the fact that the technology inside their HomeStove is the same inside the award-winning products that you purchase right here at the BioLite Shop.
This global community has made some amazing things happen.
Together we’ve enabled 1,400,941 people to bring clean, reliable cooking and energy into their lives. 1,499,535,545 watt-hours of electricity have been generated in off grid households and 403,427 tonnes of CO2e have been offset. And we’re just getting started.
We said it in the video above, but we’ll say it again: Thank You.
Thank you for helping us grow, staying engaged, and showing the world, one campsite at a time, that good energy is all around us.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2016 as a part of our Business of Impact Series. It was updated in December 2020 to reflect the most recent impact numbers.