EarthEnable started with a dream to improve health outcomes through simple and affordable solutions.
Traveling to Rwanda with a Stanford MBA class, we sought to understand how sub-optimal homes affected physical and emotional health outcomes. We were shocked to discover the significant health problems that dirt floors cause. Eliminating a dirt floor from the home results in dramatic reductions in childhood asthma, diarrhea, malnutrition, and parasitic infestations.
It became our mission to find a way to floor Rwanda.
It turns out the solution was right in our own backyard! Earthen flooring has experienced a revival on the West Coast of the United States, with many home-owners craving sustainable and attractive modern earthen floors in their homes.
These floors are easy to clean, abrasion-resistant, and beautiful. All we had to do was find a way to adapt this new trend for Rwandan homes.
The primary limitation to widespread adoption of earthen floors is the level of training and site-specific testing that is required. EarthEnable brings modern earthen flooring to the poorest Rwandans by bridging this gap in training and providing local masons with the necessary expertise, business skills, and professional tools.
While linseed oil is the oil typically used in the US, the high cost of this oil meant that it could not scale in Rwanda. That’s where we had to innovate. We created a new oil from Rwandan materials that does the sealing and drying job of linseed oil for only a fraction of the cost.