Can we live without a refrigerator?

nofrig In my quest to live a more sustainable life I’ve begun to question most of what we do in our “modern” society.  Do we really need to use so much electricity in our daily lives to live comfortably?  Aside from keeping our homes either cool or warm, and running a hot water heater the next thing in line that eats up a lot of electricity is refrigeration.  According to our friends over at Little Blog In The Big Woods, and others, it’s very possible to live without it.

There are many items that we keep in them that are either unnecessary to have in the first place or they just don’t need to be in the fridge.

Just a taste of what “they” have to say about it:

“A great deal of what’s in your fridge absolutely does NOT need to be there. If you’re interested in trying this, just start by taking all these things out of your fridge, and putting them in a pantry type situation:

Butter/margarine – shelf life about 2 weeks
Eggs -shelf life at least a week
Cheese – keep covered, shelf life variable- taste when unrefrigerated hugely better
ketchup/mustard – shelf life – forever
honey – shelf life – forever
onions/garlic – shelf life – 2 weeks
tomatoes – shelf life – 4 days
cabbage – shelf life – 1 week
cooking oil – shelf life – months
peanut butter – shelf life – months”

So what do we do to keep food fresh without a refrigerator?  Well, I’m still at the beginning stage of researching this concept.  But from what I’m finding just from a few quick searches is that there are many non-electrical ways to keep food fresh.  I’ll talk briefly here about some of the tricks in this post.  You know, just to tease you a little.  Then blog about each one individually later on as I learn more about each.


Spanish Botijos

botijos botijo1


These are great for keeping liquids cool for those who don’t really like room temperature beverages.  They work by utilizing evaporation to keep what’s inside cooler than the outside.


Pottery Water Cooling Vessels (a.k.a Zeer Pot)

pot-in-pot1 pot-in-pot3

Another item that works by evaporative cooling.  The space between the two pots is filled with sand and kept moist.  Evaporation takes place and keep whatever is inside the smaller pot cooler than room temperature.  Just how much cooler I have no idea.  But I plan to experiment with this idea.


Reasons to go without a fridge:

  • Food consumed at body temperature is better for you than cold food
  • Pantries do not need cleaning and defrosting in the same way as fridges
  • Doing without a fridge will ensure you eat fresh food, which is better for you


    These are just a few ideas that I’ve come across so far.  Of course if you live where the winters are cold you can build a partial underground (or not) storage space to keep meat.  There’s also the old fashioned salt curing method to store meat.  These are things I’m looking more into as well.

    More to come.

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