Graham Sustainability Institute

Innovation of the Mundane: Better Stoves, Better Toilets, Better Lives

December 2016

Underlying contributors to serious health and environmental challenges often don’t receive the attention they deserve. Two examples are toilets and cookstoves, which may not readily come to mind when contemplating global health issues. Yet these two household amenities, which many of us take for granted, facilitate the spread of disease, cause countless preventable and premature deaths, endanger the lives of women and children, pollute waterways, contribute to deforestation, and degrade the quality of life for billions of people. This fact sheet provides a summary about the development of better cook stoves and toilets for people in India and elsewhere.


Keywords: Cookstove, composting toilet, co-design, Dow Sustainability Fellows, University of Michigan, Dolatpura, India, BLUELab, Engineering, Setco Foundation