Do You Need a Refrigerator?

By Lara Edge

When Justin Moyer's refrigerator conked out
, he didn't replace it right away. Instead he did without.

It wasn't completely by design: As he was haggling with his refrigerator's maker to either fix or replace his broken one, he and his family just made do without it.

What should have been a few days turned into weeks.

His accidental experiment (described in The Washington Post) was fascinating -- mostly because he's not one of those green extremists that make it a point of pride to go without modern conveniences. (That's not meant in a derogatory way. It just is what it is.)

Instead, he seemed pleasantly surprised that he could do without a fridge -- although that really shouldn't be a big surprise, given that man lived without refrigeration for centuries.But what piqued my interest was an interesting tidbit Justin provided: 99.9 percent of U.S. households have a fridge. That's more than any other appliance, including appliances that actually help you cook your food.

So essentially, in the span of one lifetime, the fridge has become a household necessity.

Now, most of us have had to deal with a non-working fridge during a power outage, which is no fun at all.

But imagine life without it. That's probably like asking a teenager to imagine life without the Web.

I could imagine it; I just couldn't live without it.

Despite what some save-the-planet advocates believe, doing without a fridge doesn't automatically save energy. Today's fridges are much more energy-efficient. Justin estimated that his fridge costs about $90 to run per year.

And unlike Justin, I don't live close enough to a grocery store to walk. So those frequent trips to the store would cost me more than $90 a year -- making a fridge an actual money-saver.

So, who needs a refrigerator? I do!

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