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Drawdown Solution #1: Refrigerant Management

created by

Maren Schermer

Educator

It turns out that the single most significant way to reduce CO2 emissions is to change the way we keep ourselves, and our food, cool.  That's according to Project Drawdown, an organization working to identify, research and model the top solutions to climate change. But what makes cooling such a significant contributor to a warming planet?  Refrigerators and air conditioners work by using chemicals to absorb and release heat, and while ozone-damaging CFCs and HCFCs have been largely phased out, their replacement -- HFCs -- are a climate change disaster.  According to Project Drawdown, HFCs have "1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide." 

Natural refrigerants such as propane, ammonia and even carbon dioxide (under certain conditions) are emerging as substitutes to HFCs.  This collection of stories also present a diverse and innovative set of solutions for keeping things cool. From district energy systems in Malaysia, to storing snow in Japan and Sweden, to a zero-energy brick and charcoal fruit cooler in Kenya, technologies exist around the world for sustainably maintaining cold. Although the scope of this issue may seem daunting, these stories offer hope that solutions are on the way.

Click here to learn about the upcoming Drawdown Ecochallenge, and how you can join thousands of others in taking personal steps to mitigate climate change. Registration opens February 15th, and the challenge is April 3rd - April 24th, 2019.

Stories In This Collection (4)

Cool Ways of Keeping Things Cool

Cool Ways of Keeping Things Cool
view story

Introducing the cool way to keep fruits fresh

Introducing the cool way to keep fruits fresh
view story

Keeping it cool: Malaysia looks to district energy systems.

Keeping it cool: Malaysia looks to district ene...
view story

Stored Snow Makes A Great Alternative To Summer Air Conditioning

Stored Snow Makes A Great Alternative To Summer...
view story
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