IT’S NO joke – some people have fridges bigger than my kitchen.
In fact, I recently came across a walk-in appliance that wasn’t much smaller than my house. Even for families, these American-style monsters are far too large. Do we really need four-door fridges that spout Swiss mountain stream water from special taps, chill enough food to feed 19 families for a month and have a built-in delicatessen?
Yet more and more people think that bigger is better, and a giant fridge will add to the many other status symbols they have collected like the mammoth TV and massive car.
A Government-commissioned report has suggested that middle-class families should stop buying large fridges in order to save energy and tackle climate change.
Too right – costing several thousand pounds, many have their own ice-making machines that could be put to better use in solving the melt problem in Greenland.
Yet, sadly, this advice will fall on millions of deaf ears. Most people, I believe, couldn’t care less about saving energy and climate change. If they did, homes would not be bursting at the seams with these trappings – most of which they could easily manage without.
We manage perfectly well with a TV the size of a cereal box, and a small car, yet I know of only one family who have the same. Most people I know own two cars – one of which tends to be gas-guzzling, tank-sized – and a TV to rival IMAX.
When people shop their purchase is dictated primarily by cost, not energy. How many people take account of the colour-coded energy rating sticker when buying fridges? Very few, I suspect.
The report also suggests drying clothes outside as much as possible rather than using a tumble drier. This is something I also struggle to understand – why people who have outside space don’t use washing lines. Sheets, towels and clothing dried in the breeze feel far crisper and fresher than laundry dried in a steel tube.
But yet again, if there’s a device for it, people will use it. Look at all the stuff people have in their kitchens – juicers, ice-cream makers, yoghurt makers, bread makers, coffee machines.
People could also save money by replacing large appliances such as huge televisions, the report says.
But, however hard up people are, I can’t see them trading in their 84inch, high-definition cinema screens for an A4 alternative.
Nowadays, huge TVs are the centrepiece of the living room, replacing the picture over the fireplace.
Even when the planet is on its last legs, cavernous fridge-freezers will still be flying off the shelves. They may even be the norm.
On the plus side, if it becomes unbearably hot, we can always move into them.