Here's another perspective on zero waste. At times on her blog, Bea can make it seem so simple and easy to go zero waste. I end up thinking, "Well, yeah, if you're in California and you have access to Whole Foods and a year-round farmer's market...." So it's nice to get the perspective of someone else who's struggling with trying to drastically reduce the waste in their lifestyle. There are so many times when I basically have to grin and bear it, and buy something that's packaged in a way I don't like. But the author of the above article suggests that we also need to take a closer look at what actually constitutes waste.
Here's another idea about food storage without using a refrigerator, which really isn't the best way to keep food a lot of the time. Don't get me wrong, it's great for things like milk, but vegetables and even eggs aren't at their best when stored in a refrigerator. We've had eggs get frozen if they're accidentally pushed to the back. (Fresh eggs, if they've never been refrigerated, can be kept safely without refrigeration longer than you think. One source I've read says about 6 weeks, which was a number she'd gotten from a Mennonite farmer. I'm not sure how true that is, though, having never tested it myself.) And delicate fruits and veggies, such as tomatoes, are incredibly prone to getting essentially a mild form of freezer burn, even just in the fridge.
I did always wonder about people who've managed to get rid of their refrigerators (most use an ice-box instead) or switch to a small dorm-style refrigerator (which isn't as efficient as you'd hope--if you need that, you might as well get a large one). I assumed that most of them must eat out most of the time. This is proof that even people who cook at home can switch to a smaller fridge (or get rid of it entirely) without reducing their quality of eating and without getting rid of all refrigerated items. I'd still need somewhere to store leftovers, and the loss of freezer space would suck, but I could maybe see myself trying something like this in the future. Especially during the winter. It seems silly to pay for refrigeration when it would make much more sense to simply store stuff in an ice box in the coldest part of the garage and shove our freezer outside for cold. (Keeping it in the freezer would insulate it somewhat from the temperature swings.) Could I see Shane going along with it? Maybe. I think it would mostly depend on how much work for it he had to do. :) If I took care of all of it, he'd be very happy with it.