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Wonderbag: Social Innovation in the Kitchen

Wonderbag: Social Innovation in the Kitchen

Preparing and serving food represents, for most of us, an everyday gesture, something usual and obvious. After all, we just have to place a pot on the burner, quickly do something with what’s in the fridge, or free our creativity and play with ideas and recipes.

Somewhere else in the world, preparing a meal is definitely not as common and trivial: energy and water are not always easily available, and the lack of clean fuel means opting for wood to set up a fireplace, which involves smoke inhalation. Moreover, cutting down trees to get the wood contributes to the sad phenomenon of deforestation, which means walking miles far from home to find new trees and more wood. This is an activity mostly done by women and young girls, who leave school to spend most of their days cooking or looking for wood far away from home, exposing themselves to the risk of violence.

Sarah Collins dedicated most of her life to the empowerment of African population. After setting up two ecotourism projects in Botswana, founding the Take Back the Future NGO and creating the South-African party Woman Forward, since 2008 she has been involved in developing and marketing the Wonderbag. The concept of Wonderbag is actually very simple: a slow cooker made of fabrics, which keeps cooking food that has been pre-boiled. After partially cooking the meal, you can remove the pot from heat and finish cooking using Wonderbag, with no need of further fuel or other sources of energy. A method that makes food preparation safer and time- and resources-efficient.

As you can see in the infographic below, Wonderbag offers several advantages: more than just saving money, it contributes in reducing carbon emissions and uncontrolled deforestation. The risk of diseases connected to toxic smoke is reduced, water is less wasted and food doesn’t burn on wooden fires anymore. The slow cooking method works perfectly, as the bag is able to thermally isolate the pot, while keeping the right temperature for hours.

wonderbag infografica

For every Wonderbag sold in the U.S., one is donated to an African family. Purchase is not available averywhere, but this simple invention truly represents a small green revolution, suitable not only for African families, but for anyone who wants to save energy in a new way.


Exigent traveller, lately left beloved Istanbul for bizarre Barcelona. Amateur photographer and translator, she likes taking pictures of reality and impress their words in as many languages as different the visions of life are.

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