​Designs for better living

"Wood smoke is about the same as cigarette smoke," said Still. "If a woman is cooking with a kid, they're breathing the equivalent of four packs of cigarettes a day."

"Except this isn't some voluntary choice," said Burbank. "This is something to stay alive, right, to cook food?"

"Right. So their poverty is, in effect, killing them."

An estimated four million people die a year from breathing the smoke from their stoves. The goal of Aprovecho: To create $10 stoves that produce almost no toxic smoke and still cook great food. Not a simple task.

"This stove has very fast little jets of air that are mixing all of the smoke and the gas into the flame, and it's mixing it so well that it's getting all burned up," said Still.

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Dean Still demonstrates his efficient wood-burning stove.
CBS News

But there's no such thing as one perfect universal stove, because people in each region of the world cook food differently. Still showed Burbank a griddle stove from Honduras for making tortillas; a high-powered stove from China for boiling water; a stove from India for making chapattis, and an African charcoal stove for making fufu.

And for the nearly one-in-five people still living without electricity, Aprovecho recently found a way to solve two problems at once. It's called the Firefly. "This is a lantern that also cooks, so we figured that people might want to be able to see at night to read and whatever, or to prepare the food and also to cook," said Still.

"So this could boil water, and provide light. That could change somebody's life, right?" said Burbank.

"I hope so," Still said.

Forget iPhones and sports cars -- this is light, where there wasn't any before. It's design that truly makes a difference.

Behar said, "A beautifully-made, well-made, high-quality product is understood exactly in the same way here than it is somewhere else."


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