Ice cream lovers of the United States, rejoice. Greenpeace and Ben & Jerry’s have teamed up to bring the first climate-safe ice cream freezer to the USA. The Greenfreeze refrigerator eliminates the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), an extremely potent greenhouse gas that has 1,400 times the global warming impact of CO2.
Greenfreeze technology has been around since 1992 and is installed in over 300 million refrigerators worldwide. But it wasn’t allowed into the United States until earlier this year when the Environmental Protection Agency gave Ben & Jerry’s the go-ahead to test 2,000 Greenfreeze units.
HFCs and other fluorinated gases are the most dangerous greenhouse gases that you’ve probably never heard of. Together, they are responsible for 17 percent of global warming pollution in the atmosphere.
It’s sad that the USA has had to wait 16 years to receive such a widely-used technology, especially since Greenfreeze refrigerators make up 40 percent of all refrigerators produced worldwide each year. But with the US on board, perhaps that number will jump even higher.
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.