“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat.” This is what came to Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a traditional clay craftsman, when a natural calamity struck their local area – an opportunity to solve a common problem of the less fortunate households…
In January 2001, India’s westernmost state Gujarat experienced an earthquake and Mansukhbhai lost most of his clay goods. Despite this he was able to help other affected families by donating his goods that survived the earthquake. But after seeing a newspaper headline showing a broken water filter, an idea suddenly popped in his mind – to create a refrigerator that does not need electricity to function. Thus, it can be used by the less fortunate people to store and preserve food much longer.
Although this idea came right after the earthquake, he was only able to start working on it in 2002. And after three years of sourcing for materials and testing, his first MittiCool fridge finally came out.
The MittiCool Fridge
The MittiCool is made up of 4-5 types of mud readily available in their area.
It keeps food cool simply through evaporation. An upper chamber that holds up to 20 liters of water is designed in a way that the water drips down the sides of the unit. As this water evaporates, it cools the refrigerator’s interior, making it a suitable place to store produce. More specifically, the MittiCool can provide a room that’s 8 degrees Celsius cooler than its environment.
The design includes two shelves where you can keep fruits and vegetables fresh for up to 5 days while milk can be preserved for around 3 days. What’s also worth noting is that this eco-friendly fridge keeps the original taste of produce. It also has a small faucet installed in front of the unit so it acts as a water cooler/dispenser, too!
It’s a very low-maintenance appliance, requiring only basic cleaning every 2-3 days.
Though the MittiCool serves as a great solution to many families in India, it is not suitable for use in other places where humidity is high. Also, it is not as strong and durable as a conventional refrigerator since it is made up only of baked clay.
Nevertheless, this awesome MittiCool fridge is a great food storage solution for people who cannot afford a standard refrigerator since it doesn’t have recurring costs. It’s quite affordable too, being sold at just 3400 Indian Rupee or around $52!
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