It's already in your cupboard
If you live on the East Coast, more often than not, you're left wondering how to ripen avocado quickly. The bushels of avocados you see at the grocery store are usually hard as rocks, meaning that it could be days before you can actually go and make that sweet potato avocado toast you've been dying to try. Or worse yet, you'll forget all about how you were trying to ripen avocado quickly and end up with a soggy, spoiled packet of gloop in the back of your cupboard. It's OK, it happens to the best of us. But that doesn't mean there isn't a better way.
According to a thread on the r/lifehacks Reddit community, all you need to ripen avocados quickly is a spare beer koozie. Yup, you read that correctly: one of those foamy beer can holders that keep your suds from getting warm while drinking on a sunny day. Of course, you could use a paper bag to ripen avocados quickly. But that's not half as cool as figuring out how to ripen avocados by way of that foam koozie you got in college and stuck in a drawer for years (it's OK to be sentimental, people).
The reason this avocado ripening hack works is pretty clever (and no, it's not because you make the avocado comfy in a little neoprene blanket). Avocados release ethylene gas as they mature, which acts as a hormone in the fruit. As the skin emits ethylene, the fruit inside ripens. But since most of this ethylene gas is lost to the broader environment if it isn't contained, it takes much longer for the fruit to ripen and soften. But by ripening an avocado in a beer koozie, you keep the gases closer to the fruit, essentially trapping them against the skin of the avocado, which causes it to ripen faster.
Of course, you can ripen an avocado quickly with a paper bag, but that's not half as fun as throwing it in a koozie. Plus, if you're anything like me, the odds of you having a koozie around are much higher than a stack of paper bags. Maybe that's not normal, though, and I should finally take my family up on that intervention they've been offering me. Especially if I can make guacamole out of that newly-ripened avocado!