Every home has one: A refrigerator. But when some people walk into our tiny home, they ask us where ours is… even though it’s right in front of them.

We often point it out and they comment on it’s size and say they could never. But in this video, we tell you why our small fridge are great, and how to keep your fridge footprint tiny.

Of course, we know not everyone is going to use a glorified college dorm room style fridge in their home, so we wanted to offer up a few tips on how to make your fridge usage more sustainable, no matter what shape, size, make, or model refrigerator you have in your home.

Our Top 10 Tips for a More Sustainable Refrigerator

  1. Ask How Much Energy You’re Currently Using : Take a look at your owner’s manual, or look for a spec sticker on the back of your refrigerator and look for a kWh rating. This tells you how much power your fridge uses in a year. If you have an older fridge, it’s going to be a bigger number. If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, see if you can get an energy star certified model.
  2. Adjust the Temperature : If your fridge and freezer are running too cold, they could be using excess energy. The USDA and FDA recommend refrigerators be set to 40° f. and for freezers to be between 0° f. and 5° f. Click Here to Read the FDA Fact Sheet
  3. Put a Lid On It : Covering your food can actually save energy. Your refrigerator’s compressor has to work double-time to cool down air with moisture in it. So, by putting food in containers that lock the moisture in you’ll actually be doing your fridge (and wallet) a favor. If you’re on the move like us, we recommend U Konserve steel storage, they seal TIGHT and are lightweight and virtually unbreakable. Click here to visit the U Conserve Site 
  4. Let it Chill : Cool down hot dishes before you put them in the fridge. Putting hot food into your refrigerator makes it work harder to cool it down to 40°
  5. Turn Off the Ice Maker : Allowing your ice maker to constantly run is a waste of energy. And, if you’re like the vast majority of people who have experienced the inevitable conglomeration of ice cubes that freeze together in the bottom of an ice maker, you’ll realize that this tip not only saves energy, it saves you time and frustration too.
  6. Defrost Your Freezer : Just because excess moisture in your freezer turns into frost, doesn’t mean that your compressor is off the hook. Frost retains the moisture and causes your fridge to work harder. Frost also takes away from usable space and restricts air flow.
  7. Location is Everything : If you can, move your fridge to a spot in your kitchen that is away from sun-lit windows, microwaves, and stove/ovens.
  8. Check Your Seals : Take a look at the seals around your fridge doors. If they’re old, dried-out, or flattened, you can rejuvenate them using a number of products. But usually, they can go for just a good wipe down to get any dust or dried on food bits off.
  9. Clean… Behind Your Fridge : Dust has a tendency to build up on and around the compressor, coils, and fans. Break out the vaccuum do some cleaning to make it run at peak performance.
  10. CLOSE THE DOOR : This one is the no-brainer, but so many of us fall victim to leaving the door open for too long. Newer refrigerators have a timer and will let you know with a friendly, “Ding, ding, ding…” if you’re hanging out for too long. For the rest of us, we recommend going in with a plan and remembering to be quick.


Those are our top tips for a more sustainable fridge. If you have any more recommendations, please let us know in the comments below!