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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.


Dear Humans: Listen to Ben Kilham. Signed, The Bears.

When it comes to fatal human-bear encounters, too often it’s the bear who ends up on the losing end. The most recent story occurred in Thetford, Vt., where a hungry bear with slim pickings began seeking out food in town. After unsuccessful attempts to thwart the bear – known to bear rehab specialist and author […] Read More

Reimagining Restoration as a Radical Act

Finding ways to manage “invasive” species as we’ve come to know them has sparked a vigorous debate within conservation and restoration communities, as well as farmers, gardeners, and permaculturalists.In her thought-provoking book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion urges us to rethink and reimagine restoration as a way to break out of […] Read More

Trust Your Unconsciousness: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas on Writing

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is a New York Times-bestelling author, traveler, and astute observer of the natural world. In Dreaming of Lions, a paperback edition of her memoir, Thomas pens a powerful new afterword and a selection of photos from her extraordinary life is included. Below is an excerpt from her chapter about writing, and her […] Read More

Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you.Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and all […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More
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