While it is an effective insulation material, the polyurethane foam typically used in coolers is difficult to recycle, involves harmful chemicals in its production, and releases noxious gases during decomposition. All of these environmental setbacks are what has prompted a startup, called Wool Street, to come up with a more eco-friendly solution — a wool-insulated cooler.
Measuring 14.9 x 26.6 inches along its sides and 13.7 inches in height, the Wooly cooler has enough space inside for 78 12-ounce cans of beer. The cooler’s housing is pieced together entirely from recyclable stainless steel and aluminum.
In addition to moving away from difficult-to-recycle hard plastics in favor of steel and aluminum, what makes Wooly stand out is what’s inside its walls. Rather than using polyurethane — or even worse, disposable styrofoam — Wool Street turned to a greener substitute in the form of 100-percent natural sheep’s wool. The company claims that the wool material has an insulation performance similar to polyurethane in cooling tests, and is able to retain ice for three days.
The Wooly cooler also includes some other neat features, such as a drainage hole that accepts garden hoses to empty out the melted ice, and an optional tray attachment that sits inside to keep things like sandwiches, salad, and other perishables away from moisture.
Should you be interested, the Wooly cooler is now the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where an early pledge of $200 will get you one in March of next year, assuming it reaches production.
Image source: Wool Street