Do You Need A TV More Than A Fridge?

TVFridgeThe fridge is a staple of modern life, but a typo has got me wondering if it's really a necessary item. Could you live a fridge-free life more easily than one without a TV?

Picture by alanstanton

A post at EcoSalon erroneously understated the percentage of Americans that possessed a fridge, leading some Twitterers to conclude that more people owned TVs than fridges. The figure got corrected quickly, but it left me wondering: just how odd a state of affairs would that be if it were true?

I'd have thought a PC was more essential than either (and a decent TV replacement), while my experience with cheaper fridge-free hotels during Hand Luggage Only make me realise that fridge-free living was something of a false economy, even in the cooler months.

Anyway, I'm wondering: which would you prefer to give up, and why? Share your thoughts (and no-fridge strategies) in the comments.

Fridges Get the Cool Treatment [EcoSalon via niltiac]


    You're kidding right? The fridge has radically changed life for those able to have use of the technology. Even the ready availability of ice made for big behavioural changes. As for TV? Meh!

    And I'd take refrigeration over over the Internet too... Sorry Lifehacker!

    I have lived without a TV for nearly five years now and survive without any dramas (I do however have broadband and one of those DVD by post memberships to keep me going). Living without a fridge would be far more challenging as I have a habit of cooking for the next few days at a time. I would definitely say a fridge is more valuable to you than a television.

    As a student and a minimalist(I call myself a minimalist, but really we are just all poor)I can say that in my circle of friends, including myself, 6 people do not own a tv that they operate (I have one I was given in my cupboard somewhere) and the ones that do use TVs all have games consoles.

    I have never had a great need for a freezer though. I usually buy meat when I want it from the butcher.

    You could get by on dry or tinned food, along with fresh fruit and vegies. Meat would have to be restricted to nights when you could visit the local supermarket or butcher.

    Things I'd quickly miss are milk, cheese and frozen desserts. A lot of condiments suggest they need to be refrigerated, but I think many people leave them in the cupboard anyway (Vegemite, sauce, jam, etc).

    I have no idea how you could ever live without a fridge? How would you store meat? Milk? Cheese? Yoghurt? Fish? How would you keep stuff fresh? And if you include a freezer on to that its even worse.

    What does a TV do? Oh thats right, it shows moving images! Much more important.

    I'd give up the fridge before the tv. There are plenty of ways you can get fresh food every day without a fridge (grow your own veg, buy milk/meat the day you need it), but very few ways to get TV without one.

    Having lived 4 years without a TV I can say that it is entirely inessential. It is a complete waste of space and time and the world would be better off without them.
    Refridgerators on the other hand are a boon to the human race. Life without a fridge is poor, brutish and short.

    I basically live without a fridge now, considering how little I use it. Living in the city center, I buy pretty much all my food the day I'll be eating it, especially meat and greens. If I have more than two cups of milk a day, my lactose intolerance kicks in, so I pretty much just limit myself to getting my milk through coffee, which I buy from across the street. Bread and all that is fine outside of the fridge, so no problem there.

    Hmm, thinking about it, I guess the only thing I have in my fridge is orange juice and beer. The former isn't a big issue, and the latter, eh, red wine works well enough.

    Ah, what a way to get mentioned by Lifehacker. ;)

    The 99.5% figure I used was from the New York Times article I cited in the post - and I've seen a figure of 99% used for the ubiquity of televisions in the US (for at least one TV per household). So they're almost neck & neck even with typo corrected.

    Life without fridges would make us store and eat food differently, for sure. An interesting (and controversial) question is: would it make us eat better or worse?

    I have a TV in my room and within this year alone, it has probably only gotten about 3~5 hours of usage.

    A TV is not important. But where would you keep your Milk, Cheese, Meat or Eggs?

    There is a high risk of bacterial contamination if you don't have proper food storage.

    There are lot of things which need to be stored in cold conditions once opened. For example: vegimite, certain sauces, some medicines, etc.

      really? eggs and vegemite in the fridge.. it'ss people like you that are the reason that most people can't cope in a black out.. how did people live before fridges? anything that needs to be kept in the fridge after opening shouldn't be eaten!

    I just cleaned out my fridge yesterday, and with the amount of food we chucked out, I wonder if I really would need one? Being a vegetarian I don't need to store meat, though Dairy would be a big problem. I don't need a freezer, but I could definitely do with a smaller fridge, forcing me to store less and eat more leftovers? I also wonder about the power usage of smaller fridges, and whether I could get a top-opening chest fridge for the same job.

    Don't have a Tv - When my Pc screen was getting bigger then my Tv Screen I knew It was time to lose it forever. I could survive without a fridge, it would mean daily shopping though and I would miss my superdoopers I keep in my freezer

    People still watch TV?

    I live without a fridge and without a TV. This may be easier in Canada where there is more cold. But I do it all year round, in hot summers too. It's pretty easy to live without a fridge with a bit of practice. Living without a tv is not only easy, but a method to happiness!! If its not rude to promote my blog, take a look at the article I wrote on what Henry David Thoreau might have said on the 3 boxes: the car,the tv, and the fridge.


    I think I would choose a fridge over the TV any day. I use the fridge everyday but hardly ever watch TV. That said, I would be lost without the internet so that might be another story!

    LG and Whilrpool developed internet fridges which give you the best of both worlds but where a complete flop!

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