I mentioned these in yesterday’s blog post about energy saving gadgets for the kitchen, and the more I read on the website, the more I thought they warranted a whole blog post of their very own!
They. Look. AMAZEBALLS!!!!
For the un-initiated among you, who are thinking “What the heck is a Wonderbag?”
“The Wonderbag is a non-electric, heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to a boil, to continue cooking after it has been removed from the fuel source”
So it’s like a no-energy slow-cooker.
Wonderbags are the brainchild of South African Sarah Collins. The concept has been around for centuries-our ancestors would have buried hot food in pots in the ground to keep it warm; and during the Second World War, people made hayboxes to conserve their precious fuel rations.
The idea is brilliantly simple
Ta da! Like I said, Simples!
BUT, such a simple idea, has profound implications on the planet and people around the world, which is where the real Wonder of the Wonderbag is.
Energy Saving-As this whole series of blog posts is all about saving energy for the Great Energy Race (and to save the planet…), then we will start with this:
- for us lucky Westerners, with electricity and energy supplies, that more often that not, we take for granted, regular use of a Wonderbag can help reduce carbon emissions by half a tonne a year-that is the equivalent to taking your small car off the road for 4 months!
- for those in the developing world, simply using a Wonderbag can reduce fuel costs by 30%. Wowzers.
And when you think that most of the time, the fuel used for cooking is wood, on an open fire, this means that the families have to a) spend less time collecting fuel, leaving more time to do things that again, we take for granted, like going to school or generating much needed income; b) have less open fires, and the inherent risks of injury and illness associated with not only the fire itself, but also the constant exposure to smoke; c) less deforestation from cutting down wood for fuel
So a huge win-win.
Deforestation-as I mentioned above, families in the developing world, meet most of their energy needs from open fires. As many have little or no income, they cannot afford charcoal for the fires, so they cut down trees for firewood. The resulting deforestation, means that they then have to forage over wider areas to find fuel for the fires. This foraging for firewood is often done by the women and the girls, and they will often have to make trips of 5-10km a day, taking up to 7 hours. This is time that could be spent in school, or generating an income. And the further they travel, the more vulnerable they are to attacks and violence.
Cooking Time-women in the developing world can spend as much as 4-6 hours of their day cooking. Some of these women are in fact, just girls, and they therefore miss out on an education. Education is the key to reducing poverty. So by reducing the time that they have to spend next to an open fire stirring a pot, there is more time for schooling, and the implication of that, is less poverty.
This kind of blows my mind, that whilst doing a spot of Googling to help me save a bit of energy, and win a Race, I have stumbled across something that really does have the potential to be world-changing.
And if you weren’t quite convinced yet, for every Wonderbag bought, one is donated to a family in need in Africa.
In the words of those infamous Dragons, “I’m in”.