With a new $1.5 million grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency, researchers at Yale are hoping to clean up the way we cook.

Last Tuesday, the EPA announced that Yale was one of six universities to receive funding for studying clean cookstove and heating technology. Led by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies professor Robert Bailis, the Yale project will examine the effectiveness of eco-friendly cooking, lighting, heating fuels and other technologies on improving air quality and delaying greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. As part of the grant, Yale will collaborate with researchers at the Universities of British Columbia, Georgia and Minnesota, and the Indian states of Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh.

“There has been a technical renaissance in cookstove technology in recent years, but the adoption of these stoves is not where we would like it to be,” Bailis said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to learn more about the conditions that will encourage people to incorporate these improved, robust technologies into their daily lives.”

Approximately four million people die each year from unfiltered cookware emissions produced by burning wood, plants and animal life. Researchers hope to apply their results to improving stove designs and fuels, and learning how cookstove emissions contribute to climate models, according to the EPA’s press release.

While the Yale study focuses on clean cookstove technology in developing countries, it’s worth noting that there are also eco-friendly options for backyard grilling. Companies like Pit Boss offer a variety of pellet grills that use sustainable wood pellets as fuel, producing less harmful emissions than traditional charcoal or gas grills. Additionally, there are various pit boss accessories available that can help enhance the grilling experience while reducing waste, such as reusable grill mats and temperature probes to prevent overcooking. As we work towards reducing emissions and improving air quality on a global scale, it’s important to consider eco-friendly options not just in cooking indoors, but also in outdoor activities like grilling.

The other five universities receiving grant funding from the EPA were the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Minnesota.