Appliances are a large part of a home considering they wash our dishes, clean our clothes, and keep our food fresh. However, they are also a large waste producer. Whether this is emitting a large number of greenhouse gasses, or consuming lots of unnecessary water, it is important to keep in mind the effect these appliances have on our only earth. Improving and reusing what you have already have is important, but if you are moving or the appliances you have already do not work, I recommend looking at the options in this article.
1. Energy-Conscious Fridges
Refrigerators are active 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. They use an immense amount of electricity as well as emit a large number of greenhouse gasses a year. They are a staple in an American household as almost 100 percent of households have a fridge, while almost 23 percent of households have two or more refrigerators in their homes.
When shopping for a new refrigerator, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Size of your fridge: Think about the people in your household and how much fridge space you need. Also, consider how much space you need based on how much shopping you do each week.
- Multipurpose fridge utilities: Things like an automatic ice maker and water spout use more energy than fridges that don’t. If you don't need them, opt for a fridge that doesn't have these features.
- Certifications: Things like Energy Star Certified Refrigerators are built and designed to be more energy-efficient for your home.
Need a head-start on where to look for energy-conscious fridges? Here's a list I compiled of some popular eco-friendly fridges based off of Future Proof Reviews:
- Samsung RT21M6213SG: This is a smaller size, and energy-efficient fridge sold for $1,078 at Home Depot. It has a comfortable amount of compartments and seems to be one of the most energy-efficient fridges on the market
- GE 18GTNRWW: This is even smaller than the Samsung fridge and much cheaper at about $700 dollars. It's guaranteed to keep your electricity bill low due to its size and efficiency.
2. Eco-Friendly Washing Machines
It is no doubt that washing machines are common in a household. Who even takes a step back to think about their impact? The environmental impact of a washing machine is as follows:
- Water pollution: Every time you turn on a washing machine you are releasing over 700,000 microplastics to the sewage system that eventually ends up the ocean.
- Water Waste: Every load of washing you do, is using approximately 40 gallons or more water.
- Energy Consumption: Similar to fridges, washing machines use lots of energy in a household.
It is difficult to avoid washing machines, but here are some ways you can reduce their environmental impact in your home and outside without buying new!
- Washing less often: This may seem like an obvious one but your clothes don’t need as frequent washing as you think they may do. A quick sniff or observing visible signs of dirt on your clothes is a quick indication that it is time for a wash. Clothes that you have worn in the house or as pajamas can be worn more than once. This includes towels too! This will have the added benefit of making your clothes last longer as well.
- Using cold water: Heating water, whether this is in your shower or washing machine, uses lots of energy. Making this quick switch will lower your energy bill considerably.
- Avoiding harmful chemicals: Water pollution is affected by the harsh chemicals in our washing detergent. Although it is not guaranteed that this will affect our waterways, it is important to work towards improving our impact locally and globally.
Did this inspire you to look for eco-friendly washer options? Here's a list I'd recommend!
- Sonic Soak: This is a washing machine alternative retailing at about 150 dollars. It claims to use ultrasonic technology to emit 50,000 vibrations per second to deep clean anything. It is a handheld device that uses 40x less water and 15x less energy than a washing machine. It cleans anything from normal laundry to store-bought fruits and veggies.
- The Wonder Wash: Another smaller portable alternative to washing machines. This device claims that it gives a gentler wash and has no hookup involved. It uses less water and much less energy than a normal washing machine.
- pureWash: This is an addition to your normal washer that needs only cold water (saving energy costs) and uses advanced technology to gently clean your clothes, no detergent needed.
3. Drying Less and Drying Smarter
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a dryer as much as you think you do. They are a large consumer of energy as well as very bad for the environment. It is much rather safer to have no dryer, as it reduces the risk of a fire. Although it takes up slightly more room, having a clothesline is a very efficient way to dry your clothes.
You can also switch to wool dryer balls rather than using dryer sheets that you throw away after one use. If you definitely need to get a dryer, I recommend getting an energy-efficient one that is suitable for your needs.
If you want to read more about eco-friendly laundry, take a look here!
4. Cleaner Dishes and Dishwashers
It is a partial myth that dishwashers use less water than hand washing. New Energy Star dishwashers in fact do save water over time and are made to be more energy efficient. But these dishwashers are in fact pricey, so here are some ways to make your current dishwasher have less of an impact on the earth:
- Buying non-toxic environmentally friendly dish soap or pods. Dropps has eco-friendly dishwasher pods that come in many different smells and purposes. They have been featured in many Brightly Tik Toks as well!
- Skipping the drying on your dishwasher. This in fact uses much more energy than suspected and is quite unnecessary. A quick towel dry or rack dry will do just fine.
5. A Soda Stream
In regards to other nifty and eco-friendly appliances, my personal favorite is the Soda Stream. This is a plug-in device that is relatively small that produces soda with one touch. This eliminates aluminum cans and plastic bottles that can be found with store-bought sodas. It is powered by CO2 which comes in a can, these can be exchanged at certain stores for reusing purposes. The Soda Stream retails at about 150 dollars on Amazon for a complete kit. Perfect for anyone with a sparking water addiction!