Someone recently asked me how the fridge experiment was going, and I realized that I missed the anniversary of when we first unplugged! To me, that’s a pretty good sign that the project is going well. The anniversary came and went totally unnoticed. I imagined (a year ago) that I’d want some sort of fanfare or some official celebration, but I realize that it is better this way.
Running our home without a fridge has become so much a part of our lives that it’s almost mundane to us. I forget about it completely until someone asks.
Changing ice jugs is routine. Although we eat mainly fresh food, I don’t shop daily as many people have asked (I have three kids, people, are you nuts!??!), we love dairy (we regularly have milk, yogurt, cheese, half and half and butter in there), and none of us have suffered from Listeria.
Is it for everyone? Well… I think that if we can do it with three children, probably most other families could too, certainly most single people. But I realize that living without a fridge in 2012 is pretty far on the other side of the extreme line for many people. It hasn’t really been an inconvenience for us at all.
I think the key to making it successful for us has been thinking outside of the box. Many people we’ve talked to about it say they like the idea, but they could never do it because they prefer fresh food too much or that it’s not possible in an urban environment. We are doing it in Denver and eating fresh foods (including meat and dairy)! It is basically like using a cooler when camping. We’ve even gone out of town and left it.
Of course it would not be practical for us at all if we did not have the freezer in the garage where we could regularly get ice jugs. But we run the freezer regardless.
So how long will we keep going? Right now, we don’t see a reason to stop. The only question now is what to do with the refrigerator? Use it for storage for things prone to pests, like flour? Make a pantry out of it? A china cupboard? Long-term food storage area for the zombie apocalypse? Fireproof safe?
We’re currently taking suggestions on that one.