Unplugged

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.

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About Julia Bloom

singer of songs, lover of words, asker of questions, runner of miles, mother of younguns, darlin' of Nathan
This entry was posted in food, lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Unplugged

  1. Karen says:

    Julia,

    I think what you’re doing is fantastic. Would I do the same? No, because I’m too afraid of being out of my comfort zone and I’m fairly selfish when it comes to certain areas of my life (a.k.a. food). However, you’re statement is making me think about how I waste the blessings I’ve been given, and not just the food related ones. Keep writing…we’re listening 🙂 Well, at least me, myself, and I are reading!

    Karen

  2. julia says:

    Thanks Karen. Certainly we all have different lifestyles, values, needs and wants. I have tried unsuccessfully to live without coffee, for instance! And it would be exponentially better for the planet if I ditched my car rather than the fridge.

    Awareness, I think, is such a key to making good choices. For instance, although I still have my car and use it, I am aware of the damage I inflict each time I run it, so I try to choose my trips carefully.

    Comfort zone is a powerful thing, eh? Something that’s helped me over the years when I want to try something new is to take the attitude that, if I don’t like this change, I don’t have to keep it. I can always change my mind. (Unlike a lot of politician-criticizers, I think changing one’s mind is often a courageous thing to do – to say, “this wasn’t working, I need to do something different.”)

    Thanks for reading and commenting! And don’t worry, there are no grammar police watchdogs here.
    jb

  3. Karen, You used “you’re” correctly in the first sentence to mean you are. Great job.

    Julia, When Cory told me you removed your fridge, I told him I’d remove the oven first. I throw out comments like that every now and then to get him ready for what it coming. I’d love to do more raw food in the future and actually have been close to 75% the last two weeks (thanks in part to our garden and my Vita-Mix blender!) We have been microwave free in the kitchen since January 2006 and in the house since May 2009. It started with comments like “I know we should use it less,” and “We just use it for water.” Some friends said, “Why don’t you just make the move and get it out?” It spent the next few years in the basement for my husband and his brother, but when he moved to his new house, the microwave went with him. Sometimes people are over and ask to put something in the microwave. It reminds me that I really don’t miss it at all! I love the space that it opened up for our fruit bowl, jars of seeds, blender, and three healthy kids who are begging for or helping make green smoothies.

    Sharla of aHealthyHappyFamily.com

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