Elegant Roots blog
Kiva.org announced that it’s going green in Mongolia. (from Beth Ritchey). This means that you can (soon) make a Kiva loan for an eco-conscious project. [By the way -- making a $25 loan on Kiva.org is really easy, fun and connects you to the world, one person at a time. Elegant Roots just loaned $25 to Fady, a carpenter in Beirut, Lebanon known for fine work and needing to expand his supplies and tools.]
Anyway, Ms. Ritchey reports that most of the people living in Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia) live in gers (a yurt-type abode) heated by a central stove burning coal and/or wood. Pollution is especially horrific in winter (check out the image from Kiva.org) when temperatures are frigid and extra coal and wood are burned to keep the gers warm. According to the World Bank, 60% of Ulaanbaatar’s pollution in winter arises from coal burning in ger stoves. In winter, most families have to cut food spending in order to heat their gers.
The Eco Products Team at XacBank in Mongolia, a Kiva lending affiliate, addresses both the poverty and pollution issues at once by offering 3 new types of personal consumption “green loans”, for:
* Energy Efficient Stoves
* Ger (yurt) covers
* Energy efficient fuel GTZ, a German government-run sustainable development enterprise, developed and tested the energy efficient stoves, which are lined with kiln-type bricks that circulate and retain heat more efficiently.
That reduces fuel consumption by more than 60%, reduces fuel costs, and reduces air pollution. Ger covers, designed by the United Nations Development Program and produced locally in Mongolia, are insulating blankets that cover the entire ger. Specialized insulation retains heat within the ger, reducing fuel use by 50%.
Last but not least, XacBank makes Eco loans for energy efficient fuel created from compacted sawdust and gasified coal. While the efficient fuels are more expensive, the price difference is offset by the need to burn less fuel. The impact on the environment is striking. XacBank has so far posted 22 green loans on Kiva and plans to do more.
I was out on Kiva.org yesterday and none were posted, but keep checking back — new eco-loans are coming soon! Visit Kiva and get in on the good work that the good people of Kiva.org are doing. And a Kiva loan makes a great gift — allowing your recipient to choose to help fill the loan request of a particular person somewhere in the world.
This story was originally posted on “Kiva Stories from the Field” on February 23, 2010.
All images from Kiva.org.
Later, Rob Favole