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BEAN Seattle Blog

Help Farming Communities in Costa Rica Breathe a Little Easier

 We cook almost every day without a second thought about what the act of cooking does to our health - or at least we go to restaurants where Egg McMuffins or our grass fed Wagyu burgers are prepared on nice cooktops and grills. But in many developing countries, cooking and heating indoors can damage health, cause disease and respiratory illnesses and contribute harmful carbon emissions into sensitive environments. In fact, in the developing world, indoor air pollution from smoke is blamed for nearly 2 million deaths each year.

Over the years, BEAN has sought to raise awareness to important global issues and make a measurable impact in these areas. We try to find causes that we can really make a dent in and ones that sometimes aren’t as well-known.  This year’s Think Global Act Local cause is Clean Cooking and we’re partnering with an awesome local charity, SeaChar.org.


What are we doing with SeaChar.org?

SeaChar.org is introducing technology that will help indigenous farming communities to reduce impacts of climate change on their local agricultural systems and help alleviate harmful effects of using traditional wood fires indoors.

We’ll help raise funds to build and install these cook stoves in Costa Rica for indigenous farmers and their families as part of their Estufa Finca Project.  Respiratory disease is severe amongst the indigenous population in Costa Rica and is the leading cause of death for kids under ten years of age.

SeaChar.org uses local labor and resources to build and install these stoves as well as hiring and training local families to promote, teach and check in with their communities to adopt this new technology. What’s even better is that these special stoves produce biochar, a type of charcoal, as a byproduct which can be uses as a rich part of fertilizer for these farming communities.

With your help, you can help provide stoves to these farming families which will improve their living conditions, decrease risks for respiratory and related disease, reduce air pollution, lessen deforestation in their beautiful environments and help contribute to their farming livelihood. Not a bad deal, right?


What can I do?

Learn about this cause and SeaChar.org’s Estufa Finca project and tell your friends, co-workers and family are this cause and the awesome direct impact you can make. Raising awareness and getting people to care is the first step.

Support BEAN events and have fun while you’re at it. You can make a difference one event at a time. You don’t need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars at a black tie fundraising gala or go to rural Costa Rica to make an impact.  Mingle with great people and learn more about the cause by attending our kickoff cocktail night. Get some friends to attend the annual BEAN TGAL Date auction and bid on a group silent auction package or on a bachelor with an amazing date. You might win some yoga lessons or a sailing tour! Volunteer to help be on our TGAL planning committee or donate a service, item or package to our auction, which is tax deductible. Plus, you’ll have an entertaining time having fun with people at the auction as well as meet some awesome people who had the winning bid on your donated salsa dancing lessons and will refer your dance studio to their best friends.

You can have a fantastic time doing things you love to do – meeting people, grabbing happy hour, bidding on rock climbing classes – and most importantly, you can help a family in Costa Rica drastically improve their lives and their communities. Isn’t that a bonus?

Go forth and spread the word today. Save lives, save trees, save their communities. Help these families breathe a little easier.

Check out what SeaChar.org is up to in video form.

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