The Wonderbag is a revolutionary, non-electric heat retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 12 hours without using additional energy usage.
The most common way of cooking in South Africa is using an electric stove, with the majority of households and organisations being connected to the national grid. Managed by Eskom, the energy that is supplied is largely generated from coal, a fossil fuel and a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
Cooking with a Wonderbag significantly reduces cooking times and energy use, leading to electricity savings and the reduction of emissions. It also prevents the use of other polluting and dirty energy sources like charcoal, gas, paraffin, and wood, which also drives down greenhouse gas emission.
Formed in 2007, Natural Balance Global PTY (Ltd) is a South African social enterprise that owns, manufactures, and distributes Wonderbags throughout the world. In South Africa, Natural Balance has registered the Wonderbag project as a carbon offset project, unique to any other carbon offset project in South Africa.
The Wonderbag project
The Wonderbag has significant sustainable development benefits. Firstly, the program creates employment in South Africa, where the bags are used in large numbers. Secondly, field surveys indicate that users of the bags have reduced fuel bills and finally, there is published evidence that reduced consumption of fossil fuels drives down illnesses caused by fumes, smoke, and soot. a
Wonderbag users also experience an improvement in the quality of life, child-care activities and overall productivity. In countries where firewood and charcoal are the main cooking fuels, the Wonderbag plays an important role in fighting deforestation. The long hours associated with firewood collection (and safety risks) are significantly reduced. Cooking with a Wonderbag also leads to a lower water usage due to reduced evaporation.
The Wonderbag project is registered under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), thereby allowing companies to credibly offset their carbon emissions whilst making a sustainable social impact in South Africa. The Wonderbag’s environmental impact is measured and monitored by internal and external researchers and audited by independent auditors as required by the VCS guidelines.