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Mosammat Mazeda Begum washes dishes while her husband Muhammad Ershad Ali pumps the water in Joari School Para Village, Bangladesh.
Mosammat Mazeda Begum washes dishes while her husband pumps water in Joari School Para Village, Bangladesh.

Preserving the Environment

Improve Lives by Caring for the Earth

One of the ways Heifer International is celebrating 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming is by helping project participants develop their resources in a sustainable way. By improving the environment — one of Heifer's 12 Cornerstones of Just and Sustainable Development — farm families are able to conserve and make the most of their natural resources, enabling them to become more efficient producers. Heifer is providing rural families and communites by providing them with:

  • Drinkable water. Drought and lack of access to clean water are harsh realities for many of the world's poor. Heifer works to provide these communities with drinkable water.
  • Smokeless and biogas stoves. By using manure to make fuel, Heifer farmers are able to stop cutting forests for firewood. The stoves save families money on fuel costs, allow people to cook twice as quickly and keep homes from turning black with soot.
  • Reforestation and soil rebuilding. In deforested areas, Heifer trains our farmers to plant trees. To further improve soils, our farmers compost livestock manures which rebuild soils in an organic and sustainable way.
  • Cooling centers. Heifer equips farmers with the tools needed to take excess milk and turn it into a legitimate business. Cooling centers, or chilling plants, bring dairy farmers together, where they can learn from each other and provide increased milk quality.
  • Zero-grazing. A method of raising livestock in pens or other sturdy shelters, zero-grazing protects livestock from pests, disease, theft and predators, and keeps them from harming fragile farmlands and vegetation. Farmers can also collect manure to use for biogas stoves or fertilizer.

Related Reading

  • The Good Life - Learn fun tricks and tips to live a sustainable (and even fabulous) everyday lifestyle.
  • Year of Family Farming - See why small farmers are the key to ending hunger and poverty.

Protecting Natural Resources

Preserving the environment means conserving water and energy, using agricultural techniques that enrich the soil and ensuring a clean, healthy living environment. We are constantly working to find and implement new technologies and innovations that better the ecosystems we work in, so that people can work towards a better life. Help build a brighter tomorrow by protecting the environment today.