Did you know that refrigerants - chemicals used in fridges, freezers and A/C units to keep things cool - are super potent greenhouse gases, thousands of times more powerful than CO2? Preventing refrigerant leaks and switching to natural refrigerants is one of the most effective climate solutions available, enough to prevent 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming!
And did you know that there are simple actions we can all take this summer to support refrigerant management in Canada? With support from For Our Kids, Drawdown Toronto and BC Drawdown are joining forces with the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) and their Climate Friendly Supermarkets Initiative to investigate which refrigerants are in use in supermarkets across Canada.
BC Drawdown and Toronto Drawdown are hosting a free seminar on July 26, 7:30 EST, to discuss the impact of refrigerants and drawdowns initiatives across Canada, where they will be joined by experts from the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) who will talk about their work and their Climate Friendly Supermarket Initiative. Click here to register.
Leaking refrigerant systems in a single grocery store typically cause as much greenhouse gas emissions in a year as more than 300 cars. In a recent investigation, EIA found HFC refrigerant leaks at 55% of all stores visited! Supermarkets can leak up to 25% of their refrigerants every year – that’s a lot of potent greenhouse gases being released into our atmosphere. While some Canadian supermarkets have committed to switching to natural refrigerants over time, most are not yet publicly disclosing their refrigerant use or plans for retrofits to adopt climate friendly refrigerants.
The action for parents is simple — take a photo while we shop to map what refrigerants are in use at our local supermarkets, and EIA will interpret and share how they each rank in terms of climate impact. By raising awareness and shining a spotlight on this issue through citizen data collection about refrigerant use, we plan to continue working with EIA to encourage supermarkets in Canada to adopt more transparent and proactive practices around refrigerant management.
The focus is on big chain supermarkets, not smaller independent supermarkets and stores. The goal is to collect data from across Canada – from every province and territory, from our cities as well as rural communities – to demonstrate that Canadians are paying attention to this issue.
So this summer, while you shop at your local big chain supermarket or travel to a new community on holiday, please follow these simple steps to help this initiative and be a refrigerant climate action hero!
- Find the Refrigerant Label inside the refrigerator or freezer unit in the store. Example pictures are above and many more can be found here
- Turn on geotagging on your device
- Take a photo of the label
- Email [email protected] and include:
Name of supermarket
Address of supermarket
- Check back after a week to see if your data has been added to the map.
- Tell your friends and family about this, and help spread the word!
Full information about this initiative is here: https://drawdowntoronto.ca/hfc-mapping/