With another interest rate increase announced today, we all need to be more careful with our hard-earned money. There are many ways to save energy. Anyone can learn various tricks to reduce their energy consumption.
One of the best, most effective starting points is to change cooking habits. For example, you can utilise a solar cooker. These use energy from direct sunlight to cook food. They can be cheap to make and cost nothing to use. Solar cookers concentrate sunlight onto a receiver like a cooking pot, converting light energy to heat energy. There are a number of online guides for making solar cookers, but there are other even easier ways to cheaply cook your food.
Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) has put together this quick guide on saving energy by making your own hotbox, a great energy saving cooking technique.
Making a Hotbox
A hotbox is essentially a home-made oven that cooks at a lower temperature than an electric or gas stove/oven, reducing energy consumption. Making one is simple:
- You will need a container like a basket, a box, or even a hole in the ground. If you use a wooden or metal box, you can line it with tin foil to trap more heat.
- To create a lining inside the hotbox, use two pillowcases stuffed with shredded newspaper or dried grass/hay. Place one pillow at the bottom of your container.
- Prepare your soup or stew, then bring it to the boil on the stove or fire. The more you make, the better your meal will cook, as it will generate more heat.
- Boil your pot for about five minutes, then remove it from the stove/fire and place it in your hotbox on top of the first pillow. Place your second pillow on top of the pot, pushing it down to snugly cover the sides.
- Tightly shut the hotbox lid. After four to five hours your food will be cooked, hot, and ready to eat! Perfect for when loadshedding strikes!
If you don’t feel like making your own, you can buy a Wonderbag and support a fellow social enterprise tackling the climate crisis and empowering communities.