Eco-Living Magazine

Ben and Jerry’s Greener, Cleaner Freezer Gets EPA Approval

Posted on the 07 March 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Ben and Jerry’s Greener, Cleaner Freezer Gets EPA ApprovalIf you’re anything like me, when you walk into the market/bodega/corner store/mega-mart/supermarket, you can’t help but how much energy is consumed by refrigerators and freezers. I have read that the chest style freezer (read: not upright ones) are more efficient. It makes sense, since colder air is denser than warm air and easily sinks down and out when the door of an upright freezer is open.  

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is known for using high quality ingredients, including many fair trade and organic ones. Their most recent innovation is not related to the flavors but rather the in-store freezers that house their tasty treats. The difference is in the coolants used to keep the ice cream ice cold.

Four years ago, Ben and Jerry’s installed these new “HC” (hydrocarbon) freezers in the greater Boston and Washington DC areas. (To find one near you, click here.) The trial basis was part of the plan until the company received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That day has come. Last month the EPA approved the use of the “new” freezers. As a result, Ben and Jerry’s will start to install them in stores across the country this year. Don’t expect instantaneous replacement though, as costs for the new units prohibits the company from swapping out the roughly 100,000 freezer units they currently have in operation.

While the hydrocarbon freezers will be new in the United States, they have been around for years, according to the company. These units use propane, which replace freezers that use HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs), a greenhouse gas that captures 3,200 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Additionally, these “greener” freezers consume 10 percent less energy than those that employ HFCs.

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