The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers. This week’s tip was written by Sheda Morshed.
Did you know there’s a way to responsibly buy or dispose of a refrigerator, freezer or AC unit that reduces or eliminates the output of global warming gases from the unit?
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are commonly used in these cooling appliances. They replaced a previous generation of refrigerants, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which harmed the ozone layer, according to a study published in ScienceDirect. While HFCs don’t obliterate the ozone, they have 1,000 to 12,000 times the global warming potency of carbon dioxide.
In 2019, the U.S. and other countries agreed to phase out HFCs. Nevertheless, the United States is still the largest consumer, and China the largest producer, of HFC-containing products, according to Live Science. Here are some ways you can become a savvy consumer when it gets to HFCs:
Shop HFC Free: Some manufacturers abroad are still using HFCs in appliances but mislabeling them as alternatives:
When purchasing a new refrigerator, use Green America’s HFC-Free Fridge Buyer’s Guide or Consumer Reports’ “Refrigerators that Keep Their Cool Without Overheating the Planet.”
When purchasing a new air conditioning unit, find responsible HFC-refrigerant alternatives by visiting the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP): Substitutes in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
Visit “Green America’s Climate Friendly Supermarkets” and if your local market isn’t on the list, urge them to participate.
Dispose Responsibly: When left on the street or improperly disposed, HFC gases in an air conditioner or refrigerator can leak into the atmosphere.
Always dispose of fridge, freezer or AC units with a professional who will properly drain the refrigerant. Call LADWP’s RETIRE program for rebates and pickup info at 800-246-0441.
Never leave your unit curbside until you’ve arranged for the pickup.
Secure the fridge and freezer door with a few strips of duct tape to prevent children from getting trapped inside.
Properly label your unit “Dangerous chemicals: For city pickup, only”/“Productos peligrosos: Solo la ciudad recoge” to prevent others from taking it.
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