We have no refrigerator.
Not because it is impossible to have a refrigerator in an off-grid situation, simply because we choose to live without one.
First, our goal is to use solar for electricity as much as possible and rely on our generators only for power tool usage for construction and repair.
Since our solar system is 45 watts, it cannot push anywhere near enough power to run a refrigerator. We would need 5 times the system, minimum, even for a small dorm sized fridge.
Is it possible to run a fridge off of the generator? Yes, but that means the generator has to run constantly; noisy and burning fuel 24/7. Nope.
Propane powered refrigerators (like in RVs) also are available. Initial investment is high and propane is not cheap. I lump that in the same category with running a generator.
Second, one of the goals of this project was to see how little we could live with. It was not to replicate on-grid living.
When I say little I mean in terms of space and what we consume. I often found myself throwing out food (from over buying or not eating what I cooked) when I had a refrigerator.
Now we buy food, small amounts at a time, and cook and eat all we make. There is very little waste.
Third, I am curious about what kinds of food can be kept without refrigeration. I have discovered many that can-some have surprised me.
Finally, the philosophy of not having a fridge is about trying to not use resources unecesarily. It’s about not being wasteful and keeping with the idea that this is an experiment. As an experiment, we should search for unique or different ways of doing everyday things.
Next post we will talk about what we have discovered works, what doesn’t, and how to use a ice cooler when refrigeration is necessary.