Refrigerator Recycling Campaign Spawns a Unique Art Exhibit

August 25, 2008

Photo of a refrigerator that has been redesigned to look like a slot machine, including a large handle on one side and a tray full of change at the bottom of its front.

Georgia Power's entry to the art exhibit emphasizes the money-saving aspects of recycling old fridges and replacing them with Energy Star-rated refrigerators. The text reads "JACKPOT = SAVE ENERGY, SAVE MONEY."
Credit: Georgia Power, National Building Museum

An Energy Star campaign to promote the recycling of refrigerators has resulted in an art exhibit that is filling the Great Hall of the National Building Museum with old refrigerators. "The Art of Recycling: The Coolest Act in Town" exhibit opened on August 25 and features about 50 old refrigerators that have been decorated by students, institutions, utility companies, private organizations, and individuals. Visitors to the exhibit can vote on the models they like best, and a panel of judges will select the top three entries based on which is the coolest, makes the best use of recycled materials, is the most creative, and portrays the campaign theme best. The exhibit continues through September 2, at which time the winners of the judges' awards and the "Viewer's Choice" awards will be recognized. Located in Washington, D.C., the National Building Museum serves as a venue for informed, reasoned debate about the built environment and its impact on people's lives. See the DOE press release and the National Building Museum Web site.

The exhibit is part of the Recycle My Old Fridge Campaign, an Energy Star campaign that encourages people to recycle their old refrigerators and freezers and, if necessary, replace them with new Energy Star-qualified models. That old fridge that's keeping the beverages cool in your basement could be costing you well over $100 per year to operate, as could the relatively newer fridge sitting in your kitchen. Recycling unnecessary fridges and upgrading other fridges to the latest Energy Star models could dramatically cut your electricity bill. The Energy Star program is a joint effort of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as of April 28, all new Energy Star-qualified refrigerators must be at least 20% more energy efficient than fridges meeting the minimum federal standard. If all the pre-1993 refrigerators in the United States were replaced with Energy Star-rated models, the electricity saved would be enough to power more than 8.1 million homes. See the Recycle My Old Fridge campaign Web site and the Energy Star Refrigerators & Freezers Web page.