What’s the difference between a cool pantry and root cellar? Humidity. Root cellars are very practical for storing certain types of produce, and have been a key part of sustainable households for centuries. Root cellars are kept fairly moist in order to best preserve the crops that are stored there. However, the high humidity limits their use since many food items require a dryer environment to avoid spoilage. A cool pantry with low humidity is suitable for storing a wider range of food items.
Kelly Hart and I created a simple, easy to build design to help make cool pantries a standard feature in homes. This design can be added to most new homes or retrofitted to existing houses. The idea of having a large cool storage room next to the kitchen makes so much sense to us that we think all houses should be designed this way. This facility uses no energy to keep things cool and promotes a lifestyle of fewer miles driven, along with a feeling of abundance and security. Imagine millions of homes with this feature and how much energy could be saved.
You can read the full article by buying the February/March 2011 issue of The Owner Builder Magazine.
Note: We will build this cool pantry at our next workshop April 1-6 in Thailand. See our Workshops page. And I’ll add the design to Earthbag House Plans soon, so people can incorporate it into their homes right from the start.