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Cool for cash: Six simple steps to green your fridge (and save loads of money)

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Because food doesn’t have to cost the Earth…

Eco Fridge

By Melissa Marasco

It’s time to raid your fridge! In most homes, the refrigerator is the second-largest appliance that consumes electricity, consuming about 13.7% of the average household’s total energy.

But having a more energy efficient fridge doesn’t have to come with a fridge-sized price tag. Follow these six simple tips to make your fridge more eco-friendly and save loads of money on your energy bills…

A full fridge is a happy fridge
A full fridge is not only a great sight during your hunt for a late night snack, but it also uses less energy than if it was empty. The empty space in the fridge uses more energy to heat up, so having a full fridge is more energy efficient. Anything can be used to fill this empty space, like water containers or that tube of cookie dough that’s calling your name.

Be a glass act
Switch to using glass containers rather than plastic for your food and leftovers. Plastic needs more energy to keep its contents cool, as opposed to glass. Also, with plastic containers there is the risk of toxins in plastic contaminating your food over time. Glass is the perfect versatile container to go from the fridge to the microwave to serving dish. Yum!

Stop the water works
Ditch the water and ice dispensers in your fridge’s door and save your energy use by up to 20 percent. Keep it cool by using ice trays and water filters instead.

Seal the deal
Stretch your bucks by using a £5 note to check the seals on your fridge doors. Shut your fridge door on a fiver, and gently tug on the the note to see if you can pull it out. If so, you should look into replacing the rubber seal on your refrigerator doors. A properly sealed fridge door keeps coldness in, and minimizes energy use.

Taste or toss
Take expiration dates seriously, and eat or toss any foods that are near their expiration date. Most leftovers are able to be stored up to four days, but should be tossed afterwards. Foods that have a sell-by date can last a few days after that date, and foods that have a use-by date need to be eaten by or before that date.

What’s your number
Check the temperature of your fridge, and aim to keep it between 36°F to 38°F (2-3°C), and 0°F (-18°C) for your freezer. Your fridge consumes 5% more energy for every degree below 38°F, so keeping it in this optimal range maximizes its efficiency.

Who knew fridges could be so much fun? Well, actually, we did…

frankensteinHere comes the science bit…

GC articles show you one of four ways (the one in bold) to live greener…

/ Be a winner (not a binner) /
/ Turn up the style (not the heat) /
/ Love the trend (not the spend) /
Do it in public (not the car/plane) /

Pic: ericmay

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