OK, listen up Little Blog in the Big Woods: I did it. I unplugged my fridge. Not just the freezer, the entire fridge. NO FRIDGE. Do I get green-freak status yet or what? (No offense, I mean, living off-the-grid is cool and all, but when you’re in the city, the grid is like a wealthy, temperamental uncle you somewhat resent yet hopelessly depend on for cold beer)
As you faithful readers know, this blog is all about baby steps. But the thing is, when I turned off my freezer, my fridge started getting warmer too, despite the fact that there are two separate dials. GreenYogini warned of this in her comment, but by then it was too late. I tried to figure out a system of occasionally switching the whole unit on for an hour, then leaving it off for the rest of the day, but it was getting far too complicated. In the end, I knew the only true green choice was to follow Greenpa and No Impact Man, and just unplug the whole darn thing.
I made sure to finish all my vegetables and dairy products first, then gradually started moving stuff to the pantry. Finally, I switched it off for good, leaving nothing other than my stale box of baking soda in there. On the one hand, it’s been interesting learning about all the things that didn’t really need to be refrigerated — at least for very long — in the first place (margarine, jams, potatoes, ketchup, mustard and most other condiments, apples, almond butter, blueberries, etc). But on the other hand, it’s been sad opening my cupboards to find yellow, wilted kale that was only a day old or some carrots that had gone bendy after less than 12 hours.
It also means no yogurt or soy milk, unless I consume it all within a day or keep it on my balcony while the weather is still relatively cool. As well, I now have to drink my water and beer at room temperature — to be honest, this hasn’t really bothered me yet, however I’m definitely not investing in any white wine or bubbly unless I buy it from the LCBO‘s refrigerated section and drink the entire bottle right away (which could very well happen).
This is hardly a change I expect others to make, however if you’re like me — that is, if you live in a city, have some time to spare each day for a walk to the corner store, have only yourself (and your kitty) to feed, and are almost a little too concerned about the environment but still more or less in control of your mental faculties — it’s worth trying the no-fridge lifestyle.
Who knows, maybe it’ll become yet another movement. I might have to start labelling myself a flexitarian, locavorian, organic-only, fair-trade, fridgeless slow-foodie. Are there any restaurants catering to this?