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Refrigeration Innovation: A Cooler Idea to Save Energy

You can make a refrigerator that consumes only 10% of the energy of your current model, runs almost silently, and stores the same amount of food. And you can do it with only minor alterations to an energy-hogging chest freezer. Australian inventor Tom Chalko shows you how.

With all the recent advancements in energy efficient appliances and electronics, manufacturers have been lauded for their hard work at reducing the energy impacts of a typical household.  
 
And it is deserved. Take for instance the refrigerator. Just 20 years ago a typical fridge would burn 800 or more kWh’s per year. 10 years ago that got cut down to 500. Not 350 kWh’s is par for the course.
 
But every now and then, someone comes along with an innovation so simple, and so brilliant (in that hidden under your nose kind of way) that it makes all the hard-earned advancements seem moot. For the refrigerator, that someone is Australian inventor Tom Chalko (PDF).
 
He had the idea to convert an old chest freezer (a known energy hog) into a SUPER high-efficiency refrigerator using nothing more than an internal thermostat hacked into the compressor. The result is a almost nonexistent 100 watts per day (the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb going for an hour). That is approximately 1/10th the energy use of the most energy efficient (standard size) refrigerator currently on the market.

Read the whole article here.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
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