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Giving Up the Fridge to Be More Green

Caitlin McGrath Feb 5, 2009 08:16 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/gar...

It's not as radical as it sounds, given that these guys are keeping freezers and using coolers. But they're not saving much energy (i.e. it doesn't take that much to run an Energy Star fridge).

  1. u
    ultramagnetic Feb 6, 2009 12:05 PM

    I'd much rather go with a chest freezer-to-refrigerator conversion:

    http://mtbest.net/chest_fridge.html

    I'm curious if it would be even more efficient than using a mini-fridge or constantly refreezing water bottles to keep a cooler chilled.

    Or they could purchase a super efficient Sunfrost refrigerator.

    But I'm sure these people consider their fridge-free status a badge of honor.

    1. m
      megmosa Feb 6, 2009 09:06 AM

      I also thought it was strange to get rid of a refrigerator when (1) you are still keeping a freezer and (2) you are keeping a freezer full of meat.

      I am not a vegetarian, though I do try to eat a lot of vegetarian meals and meals that are light on meat for environmental reasons. I don't know the exact numbers, but it seems strange that a person who would give up her fridge because she thinks it is "wasteful" wouldn't also think that eating meat is wasteful too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: megmosa
        choctastic Feb 10, 2009 06:59 AM

        I agree with this. Nice stunt but when you think about it, they're not really saving any energy.

      2. d
        DGresh Feb 6, 2009 07:01 AM

        Given that when I went to counter depth refrigerator I still had a desperate need for more space and kept my old fridge in the basement, it ain't gonna happen for me. Seems kind of silly quite frankly. Kind of a "showoff" thing that's way more trouble than it's worth. Most of the year I get a week's worth of vegetables at a time from a CSA--where would they get stored? imo that's more "green" than dumping the fridge.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DGresh
          Ruth Lafler Feb 6, 2009 10:12 AM

          Most vegetables don't need to be stored in the fridge, though. The only ones I'd absolutely put in the fridge if not eaten the same day are greens. And many of those you could probably keep at room temp for a few days if you used a few tricks (put bunches of greens in water, like cut flowers, for example).

          That said, I think getting rid of your fridge is essentially a stunt. Look how much publicity they're getting. The biggest value to what they're doing, IMHO, it getting people to think and talk about how they use their fridge.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            d
            DGresh Feb 6, 2009 10:26 AM

            Sure, a lot don't *need* to be stored in the refrigerator, but they generally last longer if you do,esp in a warm house (zuchini, peppers for example)--and in June *all* I get is lettuce and more lettuce that has to last a week!

            Besides, we go through a gallon of milk a day in my house! I go to the store often enough to replenish milk as it is!

        2. edible complex Feb 6, 2009 04:46 AM

          they're in Ottawa...isn't that one big outdoor fridge?

          2 Replies
          1. re: edible complex
            Sooeygun Feb 6, 2009 05:32 AM

            Only in the spring and fall. In winter it's a big chest freezer and in summer can be a sauna.

            I like to think I am getting more eco-friendly (no car, high density housing, etc, etc) but that is too far for me. I agree that for most people the food waste, excess trips to the store, more packaging by buying smaller amounts would probably outweigh the advantages. It's like the people that say they are so green by being on the 100 mile diet, but are driving here, there and everywhere to source local products.

            1. re: Sooeygun
              q
              queencru Feb 6, 2009 08:18 AM

              I was thinking the same thing. I've had tiny fridges and did the daily shopping thing (both in cities where I had no car and walked to the store), but no fridge was never an option. There's only so much you can fit into a cooler, and that's going to necessitate smaller sized containers of milk, butter, and eggs, and probably eliminates purchasing any condiments that have to be refrigerated after opening. You probably can't even join a CSA because you wouldn't be able to keep the food you got from it that long.

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