In December, our Across Women's Lives team traveled to Kenya to report on women #OwningIt in the business world.

For one of our stories, we drove north of Nairobi to meet Joseph Lentunyoi, a Kenyan agronimist working with Maasai women growing aloe for the international cosmetics company LUSH. 

Turns out, Lentunyoi has been doing more than just working with women's groups to improve their aloe yields. He's also been experimenting with ways to convert the Laikipia Permaculture Center where he works into a completely sustainable environment. And part of that means using cows to power the double-burner gas stove in the Center's kitchen. 

A Flexi Biogas system installed in Kenya

International Fund for Agricultural Development

It's not as crazy as it sounds. More than 42 million households in China use biogas — gas produced through the fermentation of organic matter — as fuel for cooking and heating. And biogas use has been on the rise in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and South Africa with the introduction of cheaper, portable biogas systems like the one in this video. 

Today, with just $200 to $400 in construction materials and eight hours of labor, families in temperate climates around the world can install a biogas system that will convert the daily manure output of one cow into enough gas to power a single-burner stove for 3.5 to 5 hours.

Ready to build your own biogas digester? Learn more here.   

From PRI's The World ©2015 Public Radio International