A brief history of refrigeration

Jeremy Williams talks about the cold…..”Fridges run 24 hours a day, and in many homes they represent the single biggest use of electricity. Altogether, the world’s fridges take up 14% of its electricity and a proportionate amount of CO2 emissions. We have to cut emissions by 90% by the middle of the century. Even without the HFCs problem that I’ve written about this week, climate change is going to force some fresh thinking in the world of refrigeration.

Make Wealth History

A fridge is one of the most desired household appliances in the world, second only to a television. It can provide cool drinks and snacks, and the ability to store food safely for days at a time has revolutionised the way we cook and eat. Being born long after fridges became universal, it’s easy to forget how transformative they have been.

Humans have been able to control fire for thousands of years. Cool is a much more technical challenge, and the science of how cold works was mysterious and practically magical until relatively recently. But some ancient civilisations, without entirely understanding how it worked, had managed to harness cooling.

The only ancient civilisation to actually make ice was the Persians, who had elaborate irrigation tunnels from the mountains that provided water and cooling. They aso built large clay cone structures called Yakhchal that tapped low overnight temperatures and the cooling…

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Fun in the Sun – Plastic Free!

From drinks and food, to plates and balloons…all you wanted to know about being #plasticfree – from our partners Plastic Free St Albans

Plastic Free St Albans

When the sun’s out there’s nothing better than getting outside to enjoy food and the odd drink with friends.

Whether it’s at home in the garden or out in the park, all too often it can be a bit of a plastic fest – plastic bottles, disposable cups and crockery and enough plastic packaging to fill a turtle (not funny – you just don’t know where your plastic rubbish will end up).

Let’s start with the plastic bottles– often of thirst quenching fizzy drinks. Much better to take your own flasks of ice cold water and some sliced lemon or cordials for a dash of flavour.


Flasks can be used for hot or cold drinks, and there’s some great ones here https://bestseekers.com/best-flasks/. If you find that yours has kept the flavour of the ox tail soup you took to keep you warm at football, then filling it with…

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The other climate change subsidy: cattle

More on the vegan theme – this time from Make Wealth History…. If current growth trends in meat and dairy continue, then agriculture will take up the entire global greenhouse gas budget by 2050.

Make Wealth History

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the G7 and its general failure to curb fossil fuel subsidies. I’ve also written a lot about the impact of meat eating, and the climate emissions of beef. But it occurred to me that I’ve never put the two together and looked at the impact of lifestock subsidies on climate change.

Lots of countries use agricultural subsidies of one kind or another, perhaps making fertiliser or equipment cheaper, or reducing the costs of water and irrigation. The EU, the United States, and a number of others subsidise livestock and feed. Taken together, OECD subsidies for animal products add up to tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer support, as this graphic from the Meat Atlas shows:

These subsidies might be payments to farmers per head of cattle, or support for building new facilities or animal housing. There are export incentives…

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#SustWeek18 – a model for engaging the local community towards change

Transition Network have published a great review blog of Sustainable St Albans Week 2018 – with some fantastic photos! It’s good to get some national coverage #respect #transition #SustWeek18 #climatechange



#plasticfree Community Picnic – Launch of Plastic Free St Albans during Sustainable St Albans Week 2018

Open Food Garden Sun 8th July 3-5pm

via Open Food Garden Sun 8th July 3-5pm

What do you do at a weekend in a heat-wave when there’s no Wimbledon and no footie?

Come and be inspired at our free Open Food Garden event – anytime between 3-5pm.

These events are friendly, fun and informal. You are invited to come and have a look round, even get a cup of tea and cake if you are lucky! Talk to the plants, chat to the gardener or other visitors!  Come on your own or bring a neighbour! See what fruit and vegetables can be grown at home! Get tips and advice on designing your vegetable plot and how to deal with critters! The events are free – we welcome suggested £2 donation to help us cover our costs.

Sun 8th July 3-5pm              23 Gresford Close, St Albans, AL4 OUB

This small garden has a wide range of fruit and vegetables. They are currently picking gooseberries, loganberries, various beans, cucumber, Swiss chard. Also growing figs, cherries, blackberries, sweet corn, courgettes, carrots, herbs and more.groupchildren