Usually Sun & Ice Cream Don’t Mix, But This Is The Exception

We’ve all been there: dripping sweat in the sweltering heat. Longing for something, anything, to remind us what cold feels like. Then, we hear it…the tinkling bell of an ice cream vendor headed our way! As a kid, I would literally go into a panic, racing around the house digging nickles and dimes out of their hiding places, making sure I had enough for a frozen treat.

With the Popsicle or ice cream cone in my hand, there was a brief moment of euphoria as I tasted it’s sweet, cold goodness. Followed immediately by terror as I realized the treat was literally disintegrating in my hand. Oh the Sun, arch enemy of all things frozen! Or is it? The creative minds at Dutch design company Springtime have actually come up with a way to reverse this relationship–using the sun to keep things frozen instead.


Image via Springtime

Thinking that it makes no sense to use fossil fuels to run an ice cream cart that’s attached to a bike, Springtime teamed up with IJs&Zopie and Odenwald Organics to create this: a sustainable ice-cream vending vehicle that keeps treats cold with solar energy.


Image via Springtime

The carts are fitted with photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, so although the sun may be beating down, it’s actually helping to keep the ice cream colder, instead of melting it into oblivion. The panels provide energy for the cart’s on-board battery, which in turn helps power the refrigeration unit. This way, ice cream vendors can cruise around parks and other public areas without choking everyone in a cloud of  CFCs or emissions.

According to Inhabitat, the first two prototypes of the energy-neutral ice cream cart have already been honored with two prestigious awards: the Syntens Innovation of the Week (2008) and the P + ice fun prize (2009), and the design team are now taking orders for their next production run.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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