It’s quiet in the kitchen while I wash the dishes tonight.
Today was unplugging day. I pulled the refrigerator out from the wall and disconnected its umbilical cord from the mother grid. I removed the last of the cold stuff that wasn’t already spoiled (and we all know what sort of questionables lurk in the average fridge) and piled it in a chest cooler with a couple frozen water jugs.
Some friends came over and we sat in the kitchen while I made soup with a couple jars of leftovers – cooked chickpeas, chicken broth, vegetable broth, carrots and onions; further decreasing the stockpile of perishable cold food. While I cooked, Nathan cleaned the empty refrigerator. Tomorrow it goes to a local hospitality house, who can utilize its 17.7 cubic feet of refrigerated space far better than we can – and whose aged refrigerator sucks four times the electricity that our four-year-old model does. We know, because we checked both of them with a borrowed “Watts Up?” meter from the local utilities company.
We ate the whole pot of soup at dinner with our friends, so there are no leftovers to think about.
Some things we formerly stocked in the fridge are now doing just fine at room temperature, including – ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, molasses, miso, box wine, and eggs.
The kohlrabi and beets and peas I bought at the farmers’ market earlier in the week are in cloth bags in the pantry, awaiting their use for dinner tomorrow. (I never put them in the fridge this week, so tomorrow I will see how well they fared.)
I don’t think I mentioned in the last post, that for the past year or more, we have eaten mostly vegan at home (except for the eggs laid by our backyard hens and the occasional free jug of cows’ milk at the grocery store – it’s hard to pass up free food!), so that definitely makes it easier for us to live without a fridge. As does continuing to use a chest freezer.
The adventure begins!
Oh, and let me say that:
a) I realize that unplugging my refrigerator is hardly worth mentioning in efforts made towards sustainability, when the bulk of energy inefficiency comes from industry, not households. Still, it’s an interesting experiment, and an everyday way to remind myself and my guests that we don’t have to unthinkingly accept the paradigms handed down to us.
b) May I never sound holier-than-thou, um, i mean greener-than-thou. The lifestyle choices I make are my own choices, made through reflection about my own situation, responsibilities, values, vision. I just love to write about them, and maybe inspire creativity in others to make choices I would never have thought of.