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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.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Save the Planet

Tired of watching people spend so much time thinking up big solutions to big problems that it has a paralyzing effect on taking action? If you’re like author Courtney White, the answer is yes. That’s why in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, he takes readers on a journey to show how low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions […] Read More..

Beyond the War on Invasive Species – Review in Permaculture Design Magazine

This review was originally published in Permaculture Design, Issue #97, “Life on the Edge,” Fall 2015; www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.com Look in the Mirror Review by Peter Bane For its extensive scholarship, clear voice, and impassioned, hopeful message, this book is a joy to read—a slim but beautifully written teaching text which uses permaculture and ecosystem science as a lens for viewing the […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..
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