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How marketing tricked you into buying refrigerators

Life without a fridge, is it possible? The short answer is, yes and it could save millions of kilowatt-hours in every large city. The common believe that you need your own refrigerator in your household is wrong. You can pretty much survive without it. You can cook fresh food every day and you don´t have to give up on anything tasty and not even on cold beverages. But first let us look at the history. Fridges for home use were invented in 1913. Frigidaire introduced the first self-contained unit in 1923. The use of non-toxic, non-flammable synthetic refrigerants such as Freon-12 (fluorocarbon refrigerant) expanded the market during the 1930s in the United States. However R-12 damaged the ozone layer, causing governments to issue a ban on its use in new refrigerators and air-conditioning systems in 1994. Commercial refrigerator and freezer units were in use for almost 40 years prior to the common home models.

Theater commercial, electric refrigerator, 1926 Electric League Pittsburgh

Do we really need refrigerators?

Fridges will only let you throw more food into the garbage and waste it. The energy that was consumed to produce it, is also wasted. 40% of the food in the United States gets thrown away, according to a study by Professor Edward Jaenicke and doctoral candidate Yang Yu — from the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education at Pennsylvania State University.

So is a fridge just a clever marketing trick that wastes a lot of energy?

Not only energy is wasted. Farmland, labor, water. According to the United Nations food waste is the Top3 of Climate Killers right after the USA and China.

But what does this have to do with fricking fridges?

If you do not have a fridge you will shop more precisely and waste less. Let us play the numbers game first before we come back to this statement.

How much does energy consumption and food waste cost a individual household per year?

United States

  • Annual energy cost for a normal fridge is about $150
  • Food waste annual cost is about $1,866
  • 128,45 million households = $258955200000


  • Annual energy cost for a normal fridge is about 85 €
  • Food waste annual cost is about 300 €
  • 41.5 million households = 15977500000 €

October 30, 2021 by scobiform

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