Learn from experts about solar refrigeration to safely store vaccines and system-wide solutions to food waste

By Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG)

Through End Polio Now, Rotary members have worked passionately to ensure that children in the most remote corners of the world get vaccinated. Now, to help Rotarians and Rotaractors respond to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, ESRAG Renewable Energy Task Force is hosting a webinar where experts will explain the use of solar direct drive (SDD) refrigeration to store vaccines at safe temperatures in communities without reliable electric power. The speakers include Steve McCarney of Sunny Day LLC and Johnny Weiss of Solar Energy International (SEI).

As a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), McCarney developed specs for battery-free solar-powered refrigeration kits, with built-in cold storage for backup to ensure they can maintain proper temperature through the night and for several days if the sun is not shining. A hundred models of fridges and freezers meet the specs and have been pre-certified for purchase by UNICEF.  These systems maintain temperatures of +2 to +8 degrees Celsius, consistent with safe storage of the Oxford AstraZenica vaccine. Here is a list of the WHO prequalified appliances.

McCarney and Weiss will also explain the opportunities for clinics to tap excess electricity generated by these same solar fridge kits to power other equipment health centers need, such as lighting, communications, and even select small medical devices like the fetal Dopplers and otoscopes. The systems are rigorously designed to ensure that the refrigerator or freezer always has the power it needs to maintain proper temperatures for storing vaccines and medications. 

Learn more about how to make the worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations safe and fair by joining this webinar!

Webinar Date/time: 12 February, 10:00 Central Standard Time*

Large-scale Solutions to Food Waste

The U.S. food industry is estimated to account for 80% of water use, 51% of land use, 10-15% of energy use, 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 21 million jobs. In 2019, 35% of the food produced in the USA went to waste. That uneaten food – worth $308 billion – accounted for 4% of US carbon emissions. Cost-effective, systemic solutions are ready to deploy. 

Dana Gunders, ReFED Executive Director will describe the logistics and economics of work now underway in the USA to reach the national goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. As her predecessor Chris Cochran says, this is “a tremendous economic, environmental, and social opportunity.”  ESRAG’s Drawdown Food Waste Task Force is offering this webinar on practical solutions, to inform and inspire Rotarians, Rotaractors, and anyone committed to food security and a livable planet worldwide. 

Webinar Date/time: 18 February, 13:00 Central Standard Time*

Before becoming a founding board member of ReFED, Dana Gunders served as a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, then launched Next Course LLC to provide strategic advice on preventing food waste. She is the author of NRDC’s landmark Wasted study, launched the Ad Council’s Save the Food campaign, and is a leading public voice for solutions, including testifying to the U.S. Congress. ReFED is an entrepreneurial nonprofit powered by leaders in the food industry, capital investment, foodbanks, foundations, and the public sector, including the Rockefeller Foundation, General Mills, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Visit ESRAG website to access more resources and to contact the group for project advice.  

2 thoughts on “Learn from experts about solar refrigeration to safely store vaccines and system-wide solutions to food waste

  1. Thanks for publicizing ESRAG’s webinar.

    Yours in Rotary Service, Karen Kendrick-Hands Project’s Director

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.