Ever wonder what happens to a foodie after her refrigerator and boiler system decide to shut down within the same week?
Refrigerator down = black coffee, by default. Not bad.
On the other hand, heater down = cold showers, no laundry, no washing dishes (not sure whether to be grateful for that).
Some thoughts on lo-tech living:
Concerned readers should be somewhat relieved to hear that I haven't been subsisting on ramen and nutella alone, though I really do love nutella. Back in the old days (think wayyy back, before refrigerators were invented), people stored their food in caves, cellars, snow and even ice. Goods were packed up in canned jars to preserve the freshness.
When ice boxes came onto the scene in the early 19th century, explosive methyl ether, ammonia and zinc were all used as refrigerants before more energy efficient alternatives were invented in the 1970s. Then, in the late 1800s to 1929, toxic chemicals (methyl chloride and sulfur dioxide) took a turn for the worse. After a methyl chloride leak that led to several fatalities, three American companies combined their resources to discover Freon, which is used in most standard compressor refrigerators today. General Electric and Gibson were influential in the refrigerator market.
Electrolux introduced the first electric refrigerator in 1923.
Refrigerators have now become a necessity. It is the No. 1 most used appliance in America and more than 99.5% households use one.
The evaporative cooling box caught my eye. You can create this with just 5 dollars or so, using everyday items lying around the house. It's especially handy for camping trips. Take out your hammer, scissors and staples and get ready to drill!
Pics from when the refrigerator was still working: