Hot Poc, an alternative to disposable hand warmers

Playing outdoors is one of the few pleasures allowed – and recommended – during a pandemic. To enjoy without freezing, nothing beats to warm your hands. Even if we unwrap their grimace, they’ll have to be kicked out after a few hours … Sherbrooke’s company, Hot Poc, offers a reusable version. Is it better? The answer is five points.


Mary AllardMary Allard
Journalism

1. What is the secret?

Hot bags consist of a PVC bag filled with water, sodium acetate, and a metal disc. When bending the metal disc, it releases small pieces of it, causing the salt water to crystallize. Result: The bag is heated (up to 50 ° C to 57 ° C) for 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the hot pot. After use, boil the bag in water for a few minutes to dissolve the crystals before using it again. These handcrafted fireplaces are designed in Estrie, and are made in Asia.

Turning Hot Poc

  • Available in three sizes, Hot Poc consists of a PVC bag filled with water, sodium acetate, and a metal disk.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    Available in three sizes, Hot Poc consists of a PVC bag filled with water, sodium acetate, and a metal disk.

  • When the metal disk of the Hot Poc flexes, an exothermic reaction takes place, releasing energy, and thus heat.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    When the metal disk of the Hot Poc flexes, an exothermic reaction takes place, releasing energy, and thus heat.

  • Hot Poc's brine crystallizes in seconds.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    Hot Poc’s brine crystallizes in seconds.

  • After use, the hot pot should be immersed in boiling water for a few minutes.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    After use, the hot pot should be immersed in boiling water for a few minutes.

  • This reverses the process, causing the crystals to liquefy that absorb heat from the water.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    This reverses the process, causing the crystals to liquefy that absorb heat from the water.

  • After that, Hot Pocs are ready to be reused, up to a hundred times, according to Quebec.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

    After that, Hot Pocs are ready to be reused, up to a hundred times, according to Quebec.

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2. Does it work?

Journalism I experienced hot balls for the first time on a day of alpine skiing, without waiting for the fingers to freeze. That was bad for him, because the pockets quickly became cold, hard, and bulky. Imagine skiing with a plastic smurf in gloves …

The second attempt was successful. While hiking in the mountains, Hot Pocs were put in a backpack and only picked up after a break at the top. They heated up appropriately cooled hands, before storing them in a coat pocket. Hot Pocs needs to be usable 100 times before it fails.

3. Who came up with this idea?

Portrait of André Voilemen, Archives of La Tribune

Sabrina Hammond

Sabrina Hémond is the founder of Hot Poc. On a ski trip in western Canada last winter, a Sherbrooke resident was furious to see her cell phone explode in the cold. “I started designing a small sleeping bag to keep in my cell Alive longer, “she explains.

A friend advised him to bring a pocket to put in a hot shot. “But I hate Hot Shots, because it’s disposable and environmentally damaging,” explains Sabrina Hémond. Then I thought about the bag containing the saltwater solution that a friend was using to relax her neck muscles. “I thought we could make it smaller and use it to keep our cell phones warm,” she explains. And so Hot Poc was born, useful for heating up a phone or … a human. It should be noted that other companies, including Toasterz, offer similar manual heating.

4. What are hand warmers made of?

PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, press

Is it better to use disposable or reusable hand warmers? It all depends on how you use it … and how much you care about the planet.

Let’s take an example: Little Hotties disposable hand warmers are made with iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal, and vermiculite. Just remove the bag from the plastic wrap and shake for a few seconds to heat it up to 74 ° C for eight hours. Made in China, Little Hotties is “environmentally friendly,” according to the company, which did not provide details on the matter. It must be disposed of (and packaged) after one use.

5. Which is better?

“A disposable product will have a greater carbon footprint than a reusable product, in most cases,” notes Senator Rosa Galvez and a professor at Laval University’s School of Science and Engineering. “Iron and activated carbon are not completely harmless products,” she adds. “If we don’t have enough of it, it can pose risks to plants and animals,” says the specialist in health problems related to pollution.

For Hot Pocs, “the upside is the possibility of reuse, which extends the life of the product in the community,” says Rosa Galvez. This is in line with the circular economy, which is more optimized in terms of carbon emissions and energy. The problem may be PVC, if not recycled. In general, this option looks better for the environment, if we recycle PVC. Hot Poc is committed to offsetting its carbon footprint and donating 1% of its annual income to 1% to the planet organization.

>To consult Hot Poc

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