Clothes on a clothesline

The usage of home appliances can have a substantial impact on the environment.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas creates air and water pollution while causing damage to public health. While you probably cannot eliminate appliances from your life altogether, using them responsibly can promote greener Earth benefits.

The first factor you should consider is to upgrade your equipment to energy efficient models. These newer machines operate with less energy, but they can save you money on your utility bills.

Disposing of old appliances

After updating your home’s inventory with new appliances, the big question is how you will get rid of your old machines. In many cases, you can arrange the delivery and pickup of discarded units from the home improvement store where you made your purchase. However, if that is not an option, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends these tips to dispose of your outdated models properly.

• Participate in curbside pick-up programs or clean-up days offered by your local government.

• Deliver your appliances to suitable recyclable facilities where they will be scrapped for reusable materials.

The EPA estimates that nearly 9 million refrigerators, 6 million window air conditioner units and almost 1 million humidifiers are disposed of each year.

Ways to limit your need for appliances

While the machines in your home offer incredible convenience, limit their usage when you can. For instance, washing a few dishes by hand can conserve more water than using the dishwasher without a full load.

You can also avoid operating the dryer on nice days by hanging outfits on a clothesline to dry. Pay attention to the forecast and schedule your laundry chores around warm weather to limit your reliance on this machine.

You can also make your washer more environmentally friendly by only using it if you have a full load. When possible, operate the machine on the coldest setting to preserve the energy it requires to heat the water.

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