I published my first article on living without a fridge for The Vancouver Observer, the article can no longer be found on the website. I got some good feedback from that initial article! Below are some great comments from people around the world that share their experiences.
Reflections from Katherine in Germany on living without a fridge:
"I have been living without for some seasons. I think it was the sound that first made me unplug it...! I used to keep cheese and butter cool by wrapping them in newspaper and putting them in a plastic bag placed in cold water... eggs will naturally stay good for some 5 weeks or so, only if placed once in a cooler you should not store them out again...there are many techniques for winter-storage (earth cellar) or outdoor-storage in summer or hot places, deserts (dripping water)... my parents used to hire a storage place in a huge deep-freezer-place of the community... in the alps they use of course the fresh cool river waters for the beer, the fresh milk..."from Katherina, Germany
Stephanie Walker from Waterloo, Ontario writes on "cool storage":
I remember ice boxes, ice houses where the ice from the local dam was stored in straw for summer delivery, farm basements where dairy products were set out on cool tables, stairs to the cellar with narrow shelves for leftovers. It worked & was visually stimulating.I also remember fridges that needed complete defrosting once a week when food stuffs, in ever greater varieties, were inspected. A couple of decades later, with more prepared foods like ice cream, the fridge became just another cupboard and convenience a murky good.Your proposal is a delight. I look forward to a sensible route ahead, a journey of gathering good practices and imagining others which can be arranged and rearranged to work across the fluid stages of our lives. And of course time to monitor natural processes of decay!
Sarah writes on sharing a compact fridge in London:
I must admit I don’t want to be rid of my fridge and freezer; however, I would like a much smaller one. The problem is I don’t think my new flat permits me to bring in my own appliances. What a shame and what an unnecessary cost to me and the environment!
I lived in Europe for over two years and got quite used to sharing a ‘bar fridge’ with two other people so that generally I had a shelf worth of space. It was nice walking to the store every few days to get what I needed and slow down my pace of life. I realized I had time if I made a choice to find it. Then I realized what fun finding new places and products could be – much better than spending an extra hour in the office that was for sure! One of the few people without machines always plugged into my ears, I found ‘new’ sounds of the city, new smells of food and was able to watch different people as they went about their day some in a very different fashion then my own. It was intriguing when I felt like I was on a different planet and enjoyable when the world passed by without notice of my watchful eye.
Now, back in Canada I rent my flat with a ‘normal’ sized fridge, my eggs inside on the door not on the counter as I did in Europe, but still unable to fill more than half of the top shelf. Who, in a one bedroom apartment, needs such a large fridge? I can’t fathom it anymore but I think I did have a fairly full fridge before my habits were forced to change. So, what I am saying is congratulations to you Andrea, I think it is a wonderful experiment you succeeded in. What I hope it shows others is if they want to go without a fridge or perhaps consider a smaller fridge sometimes the challenge is not the experience but getting our minds past our habits that hinder us from trying something new.
Advice from India: Yogurt out of the fridge:
An Indian friend has told me that yogurt will last in India outside of the fridge for 2-3 days. This is in a very hot place. I have not personally tried this - but it's encouraging as it is in such a hot country. This is, of course, with homemade yoghurt (something easy and fun to do). So the milk is fresh.
Alternative Air Conditioners in Japan:
In Japan we have air conditioners-using a block of ice housed in a fan that blows the air over the ice block to cool the room etc.