Saturday, March 15, 2008

Killing the Fridge

I've been notably absent the past few days. Thesis-writing is taking over.

Taking a writing break to report on the latest phase of the project: Killing the Fridge.

Average household fridges use a little over 1000 Kilowatts of energy per year, which costs about 90$ . The fridge sucks the most energy in your home according to the US Department of Energy (assuming you don't have something ridiculous like a spa pump in the backyard.) I know 90 bucks isn't a ton, but it's better than nothing. And over the course of a lifetime, it adds up.

The door to my kitchen is remarkably narrow so my fridge is tiny anyway; anything larger wouldn't fit in the room. Still, it's a huge electricity waster. The temperature gauge is shot, so if I don't open the door for a few days everything freezes because it gets too cold inside. I've been doing without a freezer for more than a year since every time I defrost the thing it's filled with hard ice again within a day. While taking a hatchet to the ice block can be good for stress on occasion, it's just not worth it on a regular basis. The insulation around the door is practically disintegrating from age, so I'm sure the cold air seeps out (unfortunately, not quick enough to not freeze anything kept on the top shelf.) It's age is also a problem because refrigerators get more efficient each year and mine is at least 20 years old.

When you think about it, I don't eat much that needs refrigeration anyway: Butter for baking, but that lasts a few weeks at room temperature. So do eggs (those, I've started buying a few at a time from a house down the street that has chickens in the backyard.) I need milk for making cheese, but I boil that. I'll just have to buy dairy the same day I'm planning on getting crafty. What do I get from cold veggies anyway? I just cook them later to warm them back up. I'm a little concerned about lettuce wilting and the like, but i'll try to keep it in water to delay the process. When I make yogurt, I'm worried about that spoiling. Still, I can always deposit stuff in the fridge in my office. It's working constantly whether I put crap in there or not. The biggest anticipated problem is that I get two weeks worth of produce at one time in my delivery and I might not be able to eat it all before it goes bad.

Still, if the experiment doesn't work I can always plug the sucker back in later in the week. Tonight i'll be baking something with the last of my heavy cream and pulling the plug.


Bad Human? said...

I'm all for using work resources (like the fridge) that would be wasted anyway. I currently have all my seeds germinating in my office since it is much warmer there. We don't turn our heat on at all and I don't believe in using a heating pad since that uses electricity to. A couple people at work have commented about the odd looking newspaper rolls filled with soil but after chatting for awhile they all seem to think it's pretty cool (of course I'm the highest level manager working in my office and my boss never comes over so no one is really going to question me).


Dani said...

Another thought: a pot-in-pot refrigerator. Of course, you'd have to buy one (unless you have a potter friend who would barter for cheese). I'm thinking of making one myself -- living without AC during the Arizona summer means that "room temperature" is about 105. This is too warm for just about everything.

greedygreen said...

I'm not at all worried about the next few Colorado months - especially since my apartment stays quite cool while it gets warm outside. But eventually, this WILL NOT work, you're right. When the farmer's market opens April 1, there are a ton of local pottery artisans who sell their wares. I'm completely ok with commissioning two big-mama earthenware pots and supporting local artists. Better than buying them from home depot, certainly.