At eatbigfish, we tend not to use the word innovation as much as we use the word opportunity. For Challengers, innovation is not always about finding the big new technological breakthrough, more about being able to see the opportunities or solutions that others don’t.
In South Africa, inspired by her Grandmother’s practice of wrapping blankets around cooking pots (to insulate them and extend the cooking time away from the stove), Sarah Collins saw an opportunity to address a very real problem in the developing world. The result is Wonderbag - a simple product on a very big mission.
A Wonderbag is an insulated bag in which people 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 to continue cooking.
Not only does a Wonderbag reduce CO2 emissions by preserving fuel, it also saves water from evaporating, food from burning and frees time otherwise spent at the stove. Exposure to toxic smoke is also diminished – smoke that causes 2 million premature deaths each year.
150,000 Wonderbags are already being used in homes across South Africa, and it is predicted to rise to at least 5 million over the next 5 years. Wonderbag has also won the 2011 Climate Change Leadership “Climate Hero” award.
“It works. It’s happening. It changes lives. It makes practical, environmental and commercial sense” – and it’s brilliantly simple.
Saving the planet… One stew at a time.