Our main objective is to describe non-Fickean thermodiffusion in binary fluids within the framework of three recent theories of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, namely Extended Irreversible Thermodynamics (EIT), GENERIC (General Equation for the Non-Equilibrium Reversible Irreversible Coupling) and Thermodynamics with Internal Variables (IVT). In the first part presented in this paper, we develop the EIT description. For pedagogical reasons, we start from the simplest situation to end with the most intricate one. Therefore, we first examine the simple problem of mass diffusion at uniform temperature. Then we study heat transport in a one-component fluid before considering the more complex coupled heat and mass transfer. In Part II developed in the accompanying paper, we follow the same hierarchy of situations from the point of view of GENERIC. Finally, in Part III, we present the point of view of the thermodynamic theory of internal variables. Similarities and differences between EIT, GENERIC and IVT are stressed. In the present work, we have taken advantage of the problem of heat conduction to revisit the notion of caloric.