Martha+Tom

NYT — “Trashing the Fridge”

In the Home & Garden section of this week’s New York Times, there’s a short article about people who’ve decided to get rid of their refrigerators.

For some this means switching to a freezer-only or a mini fridge in lieu of the “normal” giant American fridge, so they’re not totally giving up cooling food. Still, it seems like a decent idea given the energy suck that is the refrigerator. I grew up in a house with not one but TWO of them, so it’s also a pretty radical idea to me.

Today, we have a new fridge in the apartment because I requested that the landlord install one. While the new fridge still has issues that more expensive ones wouldn’t (running water down the back, caking ice in the freezer), I don’t miss the old fridge. Like the one of the women quoted in the article, we do the “easy” environmentally friendly things well-known to most people. I try to replace our incandescent bulbs with the squiggly energy saver ones (even when it looks awful) and we recycle all glass, plastic, cans, and newspaper. Most of the time, we use reusable bags at the store… and when we do get the crappy most-people-throw-away plastic bags, we reuse them instead of buying trash bags. While it’s easy to “do our part” in these ways which don’t inconvenience us too much, I’m not sure I could give up the fridge. In fact, I really wish we had another debatably earth-friendly appliance: a dishwasher.

Could you get by in a household of 2+ people with just a college dorm fridge?

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One comment on “NYT — “Trashing the Fridge””

  1. twinsetellen 8 February, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Wow – during the winter, I totally could – I’ve used Nature’s icebox many times! But what to do in summer when I make a gi-hugic pot of soup like I did last week and we ate it all week? It took a lot of space. And just until recently one full shelf was pretty much taken up by end of summer root vegetables (some of which went into the soup). If I could have a good root cellar, and not give up my chest freezer, maybe I could do it. I’d need to shop more, I think, and give up on many of the little sauces that take up way too much room, but maybe…

    Of course, there is a difference between getting by and feeling good about it. I’m sure I could get by. But maybe I’d feel deprived.

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