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.