Friday, January 18, 2008
Life without a fridge
Yep you read that right. It's been 3 months since we unplugged our old beast and to be honest, its been pretty easy. You might be wondering why on earth we'd do such a thing. Well, the main reason was to attempt to cut our electricity use by 90% as per the Riot. But I also just liked the challenge of it. I mean, is it even possible to live without a fridge?
Well so far, the answer for us is yes. Here's how we did it..
First we emptied the fridge and threw away/composted all the contents of the half full bottles and jars of stuff we were never going to eat. Basically we were paying to keep garbage cold.
Then we took just about all our condiments and put them in the cupboard. Because believe it or not, most condiments will survive for years out of the fridge. I'm told even mayo. But we've chosen not to take that risk and don't keep it in the house anymore.
Then we took what was left: milk, cheese, butter, eggs, the remaining condiments (salsa for one - I'm paranoid about tomatoes), and most veggies and put them in this handy cooler:
When we first started, in order to keep the cooler cold, we had to make ice (in 2L pop bottles), in our mini chest freezer in the basement. Now I know some folks will have questions about why we would keep a chest freezer and not a fridge. Well part of our 'local eating' strategy requires the use of the freezer to preserve some food for the winter. Also, this mini freezer is new and v. efficient. Unlike our old clunker fridge.
Anyway, now that it's cold outside we don't have to use the freezer at all to make ice. Instead we just put the pop bottles outside, let them freeze and then swap them for the ones in the cooler.
So there you go. Life without a fridge. Please don't hesitate to send along your questions/comments if you have them. I'm sure there must be some!
For those of you who'd like to lessen your impact but aren't up for unplugging your fridge, here are some less drastic things you can do:
1. Keep your fridge at least 2/3 full. Even if that means putting in covered containers of water, or bottles of beer (!). An empty fridge works extra hard to stay cool.
2. If you live in a cold place in the winter, try filling 2L pop bottles or yogurt containers 3/4 full with water and leaving them outside to freeze. Once frozen, put them in your fridge. Your fridge will cycle on a lot less if there is something in there already keeping everything cold.
3.Vacuum those coils at the back a few times a year and
4. Put only cold items in the fridge. If you live in a cool place, cool your food outside before putting in the fridge (we have no choice but to do this with the cooler)
Stay tuned to find out how unplugging our fridge has impacted our bottom line...we are expecting our BullFrog bill any day now!