Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Low Carbon Fun with the Refrigerator

First off, dust off your candles and prepare your party invitations for your annual Earth Hour dinner party, taking place March 28th. The lights will go off all over the world starting 8:30pm for one hour of carbon low fun.

Speaking of carbon low fun, an article from the Toronto Star (Getting by without a Fridge) got me thinking creatively about refrigerators. My fridge is Energy Star rated but still an energy beast. I’m concocting a plan to reduce its energy sucking ways, and my electricity bill to boot.

Sign a Petition
I interrupt my fridge plan for an important announcement – click here to sign AVAAZ’s petition to get the European Union to adopt strong efficiency standards for energy-using products like fridges, televisions, and boilers, to reduce Europe's overall climate pollution.

My Fridge Plan
My fridge has an EnerGuide rating of 447 kWh per year. It’s ok. Can Jane and I reduce its energy consumption even more?

You can imagine my surprise and intrigue when I learned that some folks get by without a fridge, but then I thought – hold on. I live in Canada. During half the year outside temperatures range from fridge-like to deep-freezer. Why not take advantage?

What’s the Big Deal? – The refrigerator alone comprises 10 percent of an average home’s carbon footprint. If you can tame your fridge, or do without, you win gold stars in the carbon slim department (so long as unplugging the fridge does not entail more car trips to the grocery store.)

Back to that Fridge Plan
Jane and I are vegetarians so there is no concern about meat contamination. The back mudroom is very cold in the winter. Why not install a cabinet to store our dairy products and leftovers, and give the fridge a rest for four to five months?

This year we plan to buy tons of local vegetables and fruits, chop them up and freeze them to enjoy during the winter. I’d like to investigate getting a large cooler to place outside to store these frozen items.

In the summer we will keep the fridge going but at a low setting. In fact, I set the fridge at two (the highest setting is seven).

Jane is lukewarm to the idea, so to speak. I have half a year to convince her.

Click here for more tips on greening your fridge.

In the News

Smart and Stupid approaches to Global Warming

Canada's ground temperatures rising, study finds
The right way to take advantage of global warming.

Connect2canada Podcast
The really stupid way to take advantage of global warming (melting arctic ice paves the way for more oil extraction!! These people are nuts.)

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