There's a discussion underway on the merits of unplugging your fridge in order to reduce energy consumption. Those that have unplugged feel good about reducing their impact on the environment. But others see it as an impractical approach to saving energy.
Some eco-conscious citizens have become so concerned about their carbon footprints they’ve taken on an extreme challenge. They’ve unplugged their refrigerators.
Duncan Campbell of Columbus, Ohio has been living without a fridge for about three years. He told the New York Times it hasn’t been a big adjustment since his diet centers around dried grains and beans and vegetables he grows in his garden, which he cans. He keeps a small freezer for fruit and leftovers.
Rachel Muston, an IT worker in Ottawa, has been actively practicing energy conservation for about two years. She composts, dries her clothes on a line, and installed an energy efficient furnace. But she felt she wasn’t doing enough so about a year ago she and her husband decided to take the plunge and go fridge-less.
Muston hasn’t done away with cold storage entirely. Like Campbell, she uses a small freezer and a cooler .
“It’s been a while, and we’re pretty happy,” Muston told the Times. “We’re surprised at how easy it’s been.”
Still, she acknowledged some inconvenience. She finds she has to cook more often, and misses being able to reach into the fridge for a cold beer.
While those who have gone fridge-free no doubt have good intentions, some question whether the sacrifice is practical.
It requires more trips to the store, which can easily eat up gas for those that drive, more food waste since you can’t easily save leftovers, and more food packaging comes with buying in smaller quantities, according to thecrunchychicken.com, an eco-blog that has been covering the tiny no-fridge movement.