Published on May 14th, 2012 | by Priti Ambani5
Wonderbag Cooking: Reduces Carbon Emissions With Business Opportunities in Developing Countries
A Wonderbag is a heat retention cooking bag. Wonderbag’s clever insulating properties allow food that has been brought to a boil to finish cooking while in the bag without the use of additional energy.
It is basically an insulated bag in which you can cook anything from meaty stews or vegetable curries to simple rice and soups. You heat up your pot of food on the stove, kick-starting the cooking process, and then place it in the Wonderbag. Why is it an appropriate technology?
This means families can cook appetising hot meals, while saving energy – and money. It also means less time spent on cooking food – time that can be better spent looking after children, earning an income or doing essential chores. Energy saving tools like the Wonderbag is great in any part of the world with our increasing energy consumption, but is specially important in poorer communities where clean energy is expensive. With the Wonderbag money saved on energy can be used to buy better food.
The Wonderbag has bigger societal benefits. Apart from reducing energy use by 30%, it reduces cooking time and time used to forage for fuel which itself helps mothers spend more time with their children and helps children remain in schools. It reduces exposure to toxic fumes and health costs related to illnesses. It even saves scarce water. When the pot is insulated in a Wonderbag at a fairly constant temperature, less evaporation occurs, so less water is needed. Open fires and unregulated stoves actually burn food and 20% is wasted. With the Wonderbag wastage due to burning is eliminated.
What is a Wonderbag and How Does it Work?
The Wonderbag consists of a fabric bag and matching lid, both filled with recycled polystyrene that retains heat. You heat up your pot of food on the stove and then place it in the Wonderbag to finish cooing with minimal loss of heat. Slow cooking is known to help retain nutrients and make food delicious. There are a number of recipes to get started.
Wonderbag as a Business Opportunity
- CSR Initiatives and Carbon Credits: Because the Wonderbag mitigates global warming, the project has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. The CDM allows Natural Balance to generate and sell certified emission reduction (CER) credits, commonly called ‘carbon credits’ each equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2, the income from which makes widespread distribution in the developing world possible at affordable prices.
- Business partnerships: Consumer products giant Unilever partnered with Wonderbag to market their curry powders and seasonings, leading to a 200% increase in sales for the same.
- Do Good PR: The WOW (Wonderbag on Wheels) project is an over-land trek that will travel from Cape Town to Bonn in Germany, introducing Wonderbags to communities and leaving a viable solution for families in that community and beyond. WOW will be a powerful vehicle for raising global awareness and generating attention for the issue of more affordable, cleaner, safer cooking. Is this a right PR mechanism for your company?