A New Record in Clean Living: Over 6.5 Months With the Fridge Unplugged

I’m continuing living clean from my addictions to polluting behaviors.

Last year I kept my fridge unplugged for six and a half months. If unplugging the fridge sounds weird or stupid, check out my post on why I would and what I got out of it: 12 Sustainability Leadership Lessons Unplugging My Fridge for 6.5 Months Taught Me. Also consider that much of the world lives without a fridge, many healthier and living longer than us. All lived without fridges before we invented them.

It’s tempting to expect refrigeration would keep foods fresher, but as usual systems work differently than elements in systems. When we develop ways to slow foods from decomposing, we create longer supply lines, resulting in less-fresh foods and more doof. Unplugging my fridge led to a healthier diet.

empty fridge

It also reveals how our food and doof systems, like payday loan stores or cheap liquor stores, impoverish communities. Amazon, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods do too. Every dollar you spend in those businesses or McDonald’s, Starbucks, or peer enables them to sink their mitts deeper and extract more wealth from helpless communities.

By contrast, farmers markets, coops, and CSAs keep value in communities. If you want to help poor communities and people, shopping at farmers markets and avoiding Amazon, etc will help businesses that build communities serve them.

Breaking my last record: Beyond 6.5 months

Two years ago, my first time unplugging my fridge, I made it three months. Last year I made it six and a half months. This year I unplugged it September 30, making yesterday the first day more than my last record: six and a half months and a day with the fridge unplugged.

My food is fresher than ever. I’m spending less money, though mainly because my new volunteering rescuing food grocery stores were going to throw away gets me free food. I’m more fit than ever.

I’m learning to ferment more. I don’t know if making chutney, kombucha, sauerkraut, and vinegar counts as not fresh, but I make them regularly now and they hardly take any of my time.

Breaking another record: a 96 cent electric bill

Partly as a result, last month’s electric bill hit a record low: 10 kWh for the month despite cooking dinners for several friends. In dollars, that was ninety-six cents, not counting fixed charges I can’t change, just the electric charges.

How much longer?

Last year, I plugged the fridge back in in June. Reaching June this year would make eight and a half months. I may make it longer as my skills in shopping and keeping things fresh improve. I may give in, but I don’t see why since I prefer fresh food and less pollution, which contributes to my highest goal of human flourishing.

Want to try? You’ll make it farther than you expected

Want to try? All I did to start was to unplug the fridge with no attempt to learn how to handle or even anticipate the challenges that would come. I just knew I wouldn’t die.

Those who try, let me know your results. You’re probably more resilient and less dependent than you thought. You’ll help reduce pollution and decrease the need for the insanely polluting electric grids we are addicted to.

Most of all, your food will be cheaper, healthier, and more delicious, if you want.

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