Shutterstock Gorodenkoff Close Authorship Authors’ note: Ratio Institute taps Presidio Graduate School ’s students and alumni for sustainability research in the food industry. Through our partnership, we’re able to communicate to a broader audience about best practices in engaging with the food industry around sustainability. Today I went and looked inside my fridge — not for veggies, but for the label that specifies what kind of refrigerant my appliance uses to keep my veggies cold. The answer in my case is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gas called R-134A. Most likely, your fridge uses the same stuff to absorb and dispense with heat. I encourage you to go take a look, because it turns out that refrigerants such as R-134A are powerful drivers of climate change. They’re also why your neighborhood grocery store is about to become ground zero for efforts to keep the planet cool. HFCs are what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls high-Global Warming Potential (high-GWP) gases . Take R-134A, for instance. It has a GWP of 1,430, which means that a unit of the gas released into the atmosphere will, over 100 years, trap 1,430 times more heat than the same amount of CO2. My fridge […]


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