Wonderbag is an insulated device that greatly reduces fuel use by enabling cooking via heat retention.
Cooking is a major source of carbon pollution in the developing world, inspiring the innovation of carbon-negative alternatives such as the LuciaStove from Rwandan Inyenyeri. Offering a different approach to the problem, the Wonderbag is an insulated device that greatly reduces fuel use by enabling cooking via heat retention. Suitable for cooking “anything from meaty stews or vegetable curries to simple rice and soups,” according to Natural Balance, the product’s South African maker, the Wonderbag is designed to complete cooking that has been started on the stove. To use it, diners simply heat up their pot of food and place it in the Wonderbag. There, the bag’s insulation retains the heat achieved on the stove so that cooking can be finished without the use of any additional energy, thus reducing families’ fuel needs by as much as 30 percent. Cooking times are also reduced, the company says, giving families more time to spend in other ways. Some 150,000 Wonderbags are already in use across South Africa, and partner Unilever recently placed an order for 5 million more. Priced at GBP 30, the Wonderbag can be ordered online for delivery at the end of February, and for every UK purchase, one Wonderbag will be donated to a family living in Africa. Natural Balance, meanwhile, plans to expand the product to 12 or more other developing countries in Africa during 2012. Social entrepreneurs: time to help make this functionall innovation a global phenomenon? Spotted by: Florent Lesauvage