Living zeer pot

Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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How to Make a Zeer Pot

zeer pot

 

UPDATE: As out commenter JM Johnson, and several commenters at Lifehacker, have noted, a zeer pot needs dry conditions to work – if the humidity’s over 75%, don’t try this at home…

Those of you who have been around for a while know that I’m a big fan of appropriate technology: it’s hard to get more sustainable that using readily available materials to meet basic human needs. So when I came across Emily Cummins‘ variation on the zeer pot, a simple device that uses evaporative cooling to provide refrigeration, I thought “Hey, it’s time to do that zeer pot post.” There were plenty of variations on the rocket stove and chicken tractor, so that’s probably the case with pot-in-pot refrigerators, too… right?

Well, no… the zeer pot is so simple that there’s not a whole lot of room for design changes. I still think this is an awfully cool innovation, so thought I’d pull together some of the better DIY information I’ve found… these things would be great for keeping a six-pack cool while grilling this Summer, for instance.

The basic zeer pot

There are lots of tutorials and instructional videos out there for making a zeer pot: I liked this one from MixCat.com just because it’s so thorough:

A couple of variations

That doesn’t mean there are no variations on the basic zeer pot; there just aren’t many. Cummins’ Sustainable Refrigerator may be the best known of the bunch, but no DIY instructions. James Patrick has created two variations of Cummins’ invention, and provided instructions for both at Instructables. The Solar Cooler in a Can is designed to hold chunks of meat and cheese; the Dew Bucket works with drink bottles and cans. Both require a few more materials than the normal zeer pot, but nothing particularly unusual: you’ve probably got a number of them already in your basement or garage.

If I’ve missed other DIY evaporative cooling projects, feel free to take me to the woodshed in the comments (but, of course, share the projects I missed, too!).

Image credit: debra solomon via photo pin cc



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



8 Responses to How to Make a Zeer Pot

  1. Wow, great design. I should put one together for my fruits. Thanks for the design. Cheers!

    Juan Miguel Ruiz
    GreenJoyment.com

  2. Pingback: Daily Green Wrap-Up 7.June, 2012 | GreenJoyment

  3. Chris Danner says:

    Hint: If you make sure the sand is completely dry before you begin – open the bag and maybe spread out the sand in a tray or something for several days – it’ll pour through the funnel and be easier to fill the space between the 2 pots.

  4. JM Johnson says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx96oUjO67Q may describe why the temp was not shifting very fast for you. Since you’re in Florida, humidity may be high. That will limit your the water’s ability to evaporate by some degree. Either way, great vid.

  5. Pingback: Braggin’ On: Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

  6. Pingback: The Week in Water: Jun 2-8, 2012

  7. Pingback: Make An Electricity-Free Zeer Pot Fridge To Keep Your Drinks And Food Cool In The Sun | Lifehacker Australia

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