Gorgeous Green House

The Renovation Journey of a 1940’s ‘Traditional’ to 2015 ‘Contemporary, Green & Gorgeous’

Green Cooking with a Polysterene Filled Bag


Even if you don’t give a damn about the health of our planet and are only swayed by  things that make obvious financial sense then this is a product for you.  I’m ashamed to say that I have only recently made my purchase and I am at a loss as to say why it has taken me so long!  Foolish me.  Here is how it works:

1. Prepare you soup, stew, curry, rice etc on top of the stove as usual

2. When bubbling furiously, snap on the lid and nestle it into the wonder bag.

3. Pull the drawstring tight and leave for as long as you would normally. You can’t burn the pot so if you forget about it it won’t dry out.

4. Several hours later (or less depending on what you are cooking) a delicious, tender and succulent curry!

South African eco-entrepreneur Sarah Collins came up with the idea four years ago during a power cut, when she managed to keep her dinner cooking by surrounding the pan with cushions. She admits: ‘It’s the oldest technology in the world. I don’t understand how someone else hasn’t made it already. Our ancestors buried hot stew pots in the ground to keep them cooking without fuel and our grandmothers tucked them into hayboxes’. With the Wonderbag, Collins has simply brought the idea up-to-date and made it portable.

So in addition to the obvious energy  savings (50 –  90%) using a Wonderbag also:

  •  leads to improved air quality in homes by reducing smoke from cooking fires.
  • reduces risk of shack fires caused by paraffin stoves.
  • empowers communities by increasing the cash available for discretionary expenses.
  • provides job opportunities and skill development opportunities in disadvantaged communities for women making Wonderbags.
  • allows tasty, nutritious meals can be prepared ahead of time.
  • reduces food wastage as food cannot burn or overcook.
  • provides cooling properties allowing people dependant on public transport to bring their food shopping home before it spoils.
  • with regular use, one Wonderbag can avoid one ton of carbon emissions every two years.
  • reduces total community demand for wood as fuel in rural areas promotes forest regrowth and biodiversity.
  • polystyrene is re-used instead of dumped in landfill sites.

Phew do you need any more convincing!  Look out for them at flea markets, food markets and the like.  I got mine for R100 ( about $12) at the Durban Sustainability Expo.


6 thoughts on “Green Cooking with a Polysterene Filled Bag

  1. Very industrious Sybyl! Go to
    They have a pattern on their blog

  2. It sounds wonderful and I’d really like to get one too, but I can’t find them in NZ. I think I’ll have to make one 🙂

  3. And I can vouch for the food, as always delicious! Greg

  4. …in addition to the saving on washing costs smaller bathtowels can also provide entertainment for the family

  5. Hi there,

    I wrap my pot in a towel and then a down duvet. Works great too. Also get from http://www.nb-wonderbag.com fiona@nb-wonderbag.com or +27727248251.

    I also had a thought.. Use smaller bath towels.


    Saskia Wustefeld Sa-San Training & Transformation “lasting learning” saskiaw@telkomsa.net Mobile +27832699207 Landline +27312096393 Fax +27312096393 Suite 1, # 49 Linden Road, Berea Durban, 4001, South Africa


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