Eating greener: Living without a fridge or Cooking — Can it be done?

For those of you “Locavores” (people who like to buy their food as locally as possible), then this article from the New York Times might interest you.

I’m interested in trying to buy locally, watching my carbon footprint for items (I’d love to start my own garden) and trying to find delicious meat substitutes that I will love and never tire of.

That being said, only eating locally to save energy may not be as significant as your everyday activities:

The real energy hog, it turns out, is not industrial agriculture at all, but you and me.

Home preparation and storage account for 32 percent of all energy use in our food system, the largest component by far.

A single 10-mile round trip by car to the grocery store or the farmers’ market will easily eat up about 14,000 calories of fossil fuel energy.

Just running your refrigerator for a week consumes 9,000 calories of energy.

That assumes it’s one of the latest high-efficiency models; otherwise, you can double that figure.

Cooking and running dishwashers, freezers and second or third refrigerators (more than 25 percent of American households have more than one) all add major hits.

Indeed, households make up for 22 percent of all the energy expenditures in the United States.


I’ve pondered getting rid of the fridge altogether. BF and I lived without it for a month, and while it was inconvenient at times, as we like to cook in advance, it could be possible.

What we did was place the fridge on a switch and at night before sleeping, we’d move everything into the freezer and shut the entire appliance off.

Everything stayed fairly cool in the freezer (especially if you leave a large freezer block in there to help keep things cool), and nothing, save for delicate temperature-sensitive items, went bad.


I suppose if I went vegan and raw, I could “live” and “cook” without cooking on a stovetop for example, but I’d need to be able to use my immersion blender and dehydrator.

That being said, I’d really miss my fluffy white rice the most.

Still, it’s an interesting thing to consider — cutting down our energy consumption when we cook and being as efficient as possible when we cook, rather than wasting energy without thinking.

We could always use smaller appliances like toaster ovens to cook our food on pans rather than heating up a whole oven and only putting in a small dish to cook or heat up.

Or a two in one: cook your food inside your rice cooker — you steam your food and make fluffy white rice at the same time.

What do you think?

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.