The very first home refrigerator was invented in 1913.
Still, it would be years before the product would find its way into the homes of the American people and become the treasured appliance that we rely on today.
In fact, it was not until 1940 that the fridge-freezer combo was invented and eventually mass-produced.
In the time of the hunter-gatherers, people would hunt or collect food and consume it almost immediately. The cycle was endless.
With no way to safely store food, people needed to pursue meals regularly. Only once the need to hunt for food began to fade did we seek ways to keep food cool and fresh.
People began to pickle, smoke, and cure foods during this time. Natural ways to keep food cold were also established. Early on, streams and caves were the best options for keeping hunted meats and gathered foods fresh and cold.
Related: How To Smoke Bacon The Old-Fashioned Way
Other solutions would follow, including holes in the ground and nooks inside walls, as well as the invention of cold storage. In the past, community cooling houses were integral to survival, and the citizens of small villages would share the space.
People proved ingenious in their quest to keep food fresh for extended periods. Thanks to these early ideas, we no longer worry about how or where we will store our foods today.
However, during a blackout, these modern techniques might not be very helpful. You can learn here, what to do with all your frozen food once the power goes out.
Today, the fridge is a staple of modern society, and nearly every household has one. Due to need and popularity, there are many old discarded fridges, and disposal can be costly.
So what do you do with a refrigerator once it is no longer needed in the home? Well, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
Purchasing items that can help you survive a disaster can get expensive. Fortunately, people throw away old fridges daily. With some creativity, these discarded items can be used in various ways.
Using An Old Refrigerator For Storage
Root Cellar: An old fridge can be converted into a root cellar to store fruits and vegetables. Simply add a layer of sand on the bottom and cover it with a thick layer of straw.
If you want a bigger root cellar, here is a cheap and easy way to build one in your backyard.
Extra Pantry Space: Keep perishable food items such as meats and dairy products safe by using an old fridge as an additional or emergency pantry.
Tool Storage: Store tools and garden equipment inside an old fridge to keep them dry and organized.
How To Use A Fridge In The Garden
Potting Shed: Use an old fridge as a garden potting shed by cutting holes for air circulation and adding storage shelves.
Garden Fountain: Turn the fridge into a garden fountain by installing a pump and using it to create a water feature.
Greenhouse: Use the fridge to grow plants, herbs, and flowers by placing seed trays inside.
The fridge will act as a mini greenhouse, providing a warm, humid environment.
Related: DIY Mini Greenhouse For Year-Round Vegetables
Rainwater Collector: Line the fridge’s inside and use it to collect rainwater. Use the collected water to water plants or wash clothes.
Hydroponic System: Convert the fridge into a hydroponic system by installing a nutrient-rich water tank and plants to grow fresh produce indoors.
Storage Shed: An old fridge can work well as a storage shed for outdoor items such as sports equipment or lawn tools.
Insect Hotel: Insects are a vital part of a healthy garden. Drill holes in an old fridge to create an insect hotel and provide shelter for beneficial insects such as bees and ladybugs.
Seed Starter: Use the fridge as a seed starter by installing shelves and a light source for growing seedlings.
Compost Bin: Cut holes in the fridge for ventilation and use it as a compost bin for yard waste and kitchen scraps.
This way, you will always have much needed compost to feed your plants and reduce waste.
Related: 39 Items You Can Compost
Seed Bank: Store seeds in the fridge to extend their shelf life and ensure their viability for planting.
Ways To Use A Fridge For Survival
Backup Water Storage: Use an old fridge for emergency water storage or fill it for livestock and pet drinking water.
Ice Fishing Hut: Create a hole in the bottom of the fridge and use it as an ice fishing shack to keep warm and dry while ice fishing.
Fill the refrigerator with insulation to stay warm while fishing in cold weather.
Emergency Power Source: Connect the fridge to an inverter and use it as a backup power source during power outages.
Solar Oven: You can create a solar oven by installing a reflective surface and a cooking surface in the fridge. Use it as a solar oven for cooking food with the sun’s power.
Related: No-Electricity Cooking Techniques To Use During A Power Outage
Wood Stove: Turn an old fridge into a wood stove by installing a metal chimney and a grate to heat a room or cook food.
Emergency Shelter: Line an old fridge with insulation to create a temporary shelter in case of natural disasters or power outages.
Smoker: Transform the fridge into a smoker by installing a smoke generator and using it to smoke meat and fish.
Other Ways To Use An Old Fridge
Animal Shelter: An old fridge can be converted into a shelter for small animals such as rabbits, chickens, or guinea pigs.
Solar Dehydrator: Install shelves and a fan in an old fridge to use it as a dehydrator.
Use your creation to dry fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Related: How to Dehydrate Chicken for Survival (With Pictures)
Fire Pit: Cut the fridge in half and use it as a fire pit. The metal will reflect heat and protect against wind and rain.
Portable Cooler: Fill a fridge with ice and use it as a portable cooler for camping trips or picnics by keeping it in the bed of your truck.
Incubator: Use an old fridge as an incubator for hatching eggs by controlling temperature and humidity levels.
Chicken Brooder: Use the fridge as a chicken brooder to keep chicks warm and protected in their early stages of life.
Canned Food or Drink Dispenser: Create a nifty drink dispenser rather than just storing your canned drinks in the fridge. To create a canned drink dispenser, install shelves and a dispenser system in an old refrigerator and use it to store and dispense canned foods or drinks.
Fermentation Station: Turn your old fridge into a fermentation station with shelves and a temperature control system. Use your fermentation station to make homemade kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles.
With some creative motivation and handiness, the possibilities for what you can do with an old fridge are endless. The metal exterior and insulated interior of a refrigerator make it a handy item. An old fridge is sturdy and can hold many things if needed. In an emergency, a fridge could save your life in so many ways.
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