A group of people work on a community garden next to a solar panel

Grassroots Action

Public pressure plays a large role in encouraging corporations and policymakers to take action. EIA provides resources for individuals, communities, and grassroots groups to foster climate activism focused on reducing super pollutant emissions.

Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are ‘super pollutants’ – human-made greenhouse gases with global warming potentials thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide.

They were introduced to replace the gases that caused the ozone hole and are used mainly as refrigerants in cooling systems – from our fridges, cars, and home air conditioners to factories and supermarkets. Today HFCs are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in the world.

From pushing companies to address their climate impacts to advocating for strong policy on these harmful gases, there are many ways to get involved.

How much time do you have?

Push Companies to Act

EIA works with Green America to demand progress from national supermarket chains, which are major users of climate-damaging refrigerants.

We’ve leveraged consumer and investor pressure on companies like Kroger, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s to push their stores away from leaking out harmful HFCs from their refrigeration. 

EIA has collaborated with groups to contact local legislators and community ice rinks throughout North America to raise awareness of climate misinformation and greenwashing by companies seeking to convince ice rinks to transition from existing climate-friendly refrigerants to synthetic coolants that have damaging impacts. 

Become a Citizen Investigator

We’ve partnered with groups like 350 NYC to investigate refrigerant leaks in supermarkets. 

Volunteers from 350 NYC walked the frozen and refrigerated isles with EIA’s detection equipment to measure leaks that are invisible to the human eye, uncovering widespread leaks of gases that damage our climate and ozone.

Check out Leaking Havoc, our investigations on how prevalent refrigerant leaks accelerate the climate crisis. 

Supermarkets don’t publicly share what refrigerants are in their stores, but it’s pretty easy to find out. EIA crowdsources refrigerant labels you can easily find on your next grocery trip. This important work provides data for our Climate-Friendly Supermarkets Map, so people can see what gases their local store might be leaking out. 

Dispose of Appliances Responsibly

Refrigerants cause harmful emissions from their production and leaks during use, as well as being vented out during appliance disposal. 

New Yorkers for Cool Refrigerant Management is a regional group tackling refrigerant issues from policy engagement to helping communities responsibly dispose of their old cooling appliances. In 2023, they worked with Sustainable Warwick and an EPA-certified technician to host a recycling drive over two weeks. The groups collected tons of AC units, dehumidifiers, mini-fridges through drop-off events and home-pickups, ensuring refrigerant emissions were captured and not vented into the atmosphere. The groups report preventing the equivalent of nearly half a million pounds of CO2 emissions and sent more than two tons of metals for recycling. 

Explore some of their tools for communities – including how you can host your own recycling drive – here.

Two men pose in front of a dumpster filled with appliances as part of a recycling drive

Join Us in Climate Action

Your voice gives us all a fighting chance to reach our climate goals. To get involved with any of the above actions, or if you’d like help to tackle refrigerant emissions in your community,  please reach out to [email protected].