Eco Tips

Longer living appliances

The longer we are able to use an appliance or piece of equipment, the more we recuse it’s carbon footprint: the carbon footprint of manufacture is spread over a greater number of years, and the  carbon footprint of recycling it is deferred. 

  • Before buying anything new, do some research to discover which make or model is most efficient to use, is durable and easy to repair.
  • Regular cleaning. Dirt and dust can all damage surfaces and wear moving parts. 
  • Keeping your oven and hot plates clean, prevents burnt on food from reducing their heating capacity. Ditto for irons.
  • Remove crumbs from toasters – they can catch fire!
  • Dust the cooling coil of your fridge so that it can operate efficiently. (Working efficiently saves on energy and prevents premature wear of motor). 
  • Regularly defrost freezers and ice compartments to enable them to work efficiently. 
  • Ensure there is a sufficient air space around both fridges and microwaves so excess heat can dissipate easily and enabling them to run efficiently.
  • Remove dust from ports a d keyboards on mobile phones, tablets and computers.
  • Clean screens on mobile phones, tablets etc to maintain their touch sensitivity. Fingers are naturally greasy.
  • Invest in a protective case for your phone or tablet
  • Keep mobile phones, tablets etc up to date with software updates.
  • Remove unused apps as they will be a drain on your battery life.
  • Avoid letting mobiles phones, tablets etc get too hot (don’t leave them in the sun) not too cold.
  • Ideally don’t overcharge your batteries not let them run completely flat. The ideal is between 20% and 90%.
  • Replace the battery in your phone etc rather than buying new.
  • To conserve your battery turn off phones etc when not in use – eg at night time. 
  • Clean seals around the doors of fridges, ovens and washing machines etc.
  • Replace seals when they do wear out.
  • Descale washing machines: the harder your water, the more frequently this will be needed.
  • Avoid over or under loading your washing machine. 
  • Measure out laundry liquid – too much can lead to a build up in the machine 
  • Empty pockets before washing  to ensure small coins etc don’t get into your washing machine where they might cause damage.
  • Clean out the drain filter from your washing machine to prevent damage to the pump and / or flooding.
  • Descale kettles.
  • With LED televisions you can prolong the life of the screen by reducing the background level of lighting  and by limiting the number of hours you watch.
  • Organise an annual maintenance check for your boiler.

Writing this, I am reminded that I should keep my gardening tools clean and the wooden handles re- oiled. 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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