TWP Selected as Foundation Beyond Belief Beneficiary

Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) is a charitable foundation created to focus, encourage and demonstrate generosity in the secular humanist community. FBB highlights five charitable organizations per quarter. Their 1,300+ members join by signing up for a monthly automatic donation in the amount of their choice, then set up personal profiles to indicate how they would like their contribution distributed among the featured causes.

Trees, Water & People was selected as a 2013 second quarter beneficiary in the “Natural World” category for our “unique approach to protecting our natural world.”

“Not only is the work Trees, Water, & People doing worthwhile, but the model they’ve put together is something that, if replicated, could result in more culturally competent programs throughout our world.”

Among other considerations, beneficiaries are chosen for efficiency, effectiveness, moderate size (annual budget under $10 million), compatibility with humanist focus on mutual care of this world and this life, and geographic diversity. All categories feature secular organizations with the exception of “Challenge the Gap,” which gives members the option of supporting one progressive, non-proselytizing religious organization each quarter.

Thank you to Foundation Beyond Belief! We are honored to be a Q2 beneficiary.

Guest Blog: Save the world by saving energy in your home

by Jaclyn Nicholson, eLocal.com

Energy efficiency should always be a top priority in your home. In the U.S. we tend to overuse and over produce, creating a massive amount of carbon dioxide. The United States is the second largest producer of CO2, just behind China. Although these numbers are astronomical, we can contribute to the solution daily by being more energy efficient in our homes. From upgrading appliances to solar roof panels, there are endless ways to conserve. For more simple methods, it is encouraged to change your light bulbs from incandescent to CFL. If every home in the nation followed this suggestion, we would have enough energy to light three million homes for a year! Check out the infographic below to learn more.

[Click the image to enlarge]

Saving Energy Infographic
Source: eLocal.com

TWP and AHDESA Inaugurate the Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center

honduras renewable energy training and demonstration center
Ignacio Osorto (center), Director of AHDESA, and TWP International Director Sebastian Africano (right), cut the ribbon on the new Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center in Honduras.

On August 17th, TWP and our partner organization, Asociación Hondureña para el Desarrollo (AHDESA), inaugurated the Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The Center has been developed as part of our work with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas’ (ECPA) Improving Access to Clean Energy in Latin America initiative. Since November 2011, TWP and AHDESA have been working as “Implementing Partners” with the ECPA to promote clean energy, low carbon development, and climate-resilient growth in Central America.

The new Renewable Energy Training & Demonstration Center is powered by a 2kW solar PV system and wind energy. In addition, AHDESA has all of the clean cookstove models that they produce on display as well as an array of Cleantech products that they sell to communities who lack access to the energy grid.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the event!

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Notes from the Field: Peace Corps Collaboration Brings Hundreds More Cookstoves to El Salvador

by Elliot Cooper, International Program Coordinator

gathering firewood_ElSalvador
In developing countries like El Salvador, where many people lack access to basic energy infrastructure, women must spend hours each week collecting fuelwood to cook their family meals. (Photo by Sebastian Africano)

For being slightly smaller than Massachusetts, El Salvador has a myriad of different cultures, socioeconomic realities, and geographic features. We’re now on our last day in this wonderful country, having spent three very long work days out in the field, observing, facilitating, questioning, smiling, and laughing.

We headed out early on our 1st field day, leaving San Salvador with our in-country counterparts Arboles y Agua para el Puelo (AAP) a bit before 7:30am. We drove east along the main artery of El Salvador until we hit San Miguel, and then turned north for an hour before running into San Francisco Gotera. From here, we took our vehicle out of two wheel drive and went into 4×4 mode as we headed up into the hills to meet with our first Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), Andrew Niiro, who is facilitating the building of Justa clean coookstoves in his community of Gualindo Arriba located high in the hills above Gotera.

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Elliot Cooper (left) presents Andrew Niiro with his Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) tiles for the clean cookstoves he has built in his community in El Salvador.

Andres, as everyone calls him, has built more than 20 clean cookstoves, as part of the Peace Corps and TWP’s work with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) “Improving Access to Clean Energy in Latin America” initiative.  After we met Andres’ community counterpart Rosa Gonzalez, we had a quick meeting to introduce parties and move through the formal motions of Latin American culture.  We presented Rosa and Andres with their official ECPA tiles (a 15×15 cm tile shown in the photo below) that they will adhere to every Justa stove built within the project.

This first year, AAP has been charged with building 300 stoves, as with the next two years, making 900 in total. With our fiscal year ending on September 30th, AAP has entered more than 10 communities and constructed more than 275 Justa clean cookstoves, which will offset more than 1,650 tons of carbon emissions during their lifetimes. This number is impressive, but even more so when you think about the reality of AAP’s monetary limitations, the harsh roads of the country, and the amount of time that goes into training local stove builders, teaching stove beneficiaries how to correctly use their cookstoves, and monitoring activities down the line that will ensure successful use and maintenance of the cookstoves.

peace corps clean cookstoves_el salvadorWe had a great time- albeit sweating profusely- out in the Eastern region of El Salvador, visiting another community hosting a PCV invested in the Justa cookstove project, and then hit the road for our four hour journey back to San Salvador. Over the next two days, we headed north towards the Honduran border, meeting up with yet another PCV implementing a project of more than 40 clean cookstoves, and then to the West to see some reforestation and dry composting latrine projects.

community tree planting_el salvador
A community reforestation event in El Salvador brought all ages out to help plant seedlings in the local area. (Photo by Sebastian Africano)

Today, we will help inaugurate the new Renewable Energy Training & Demonstration Center in Tegucigalpa at 10am MST. Stay tuned for updates!

Photo of the Week: Honduran Clean Cookstove Factory Goes Solar

solar electricity Honduras
TWP's clean cookstove factory in Honduras, managed by our partner organization AHDESA, had a 2 kW solar electric system installed this week. As part of our work with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), we are working to improve access to clean energy in Latin America. This is just the beginning...stay tuned!