Use fewer appliances for more tasks. There are so many ridiculous single use appliances these days. Cut back on George Foreman grills and Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville mixers, and use your existing appliances for more things.
Reduce the amount of energy consumed. Use cold-water detergent, don’t boil a full kettle if you only need a cup, and try to get more uses out of items between washes. It’s not hard, but you just have to keep an eye out for waste. And if you ever need some motivation, just look to your new lower power bills for a reward!
Reuse, repurpose, and upcycle:
Make art. Just because it came white from the factory doesn’t mean you can’t find a better colour for it. Fridge art also isn’t just about displaying your children’s best finger paintings: as you can see from the examples, it’s a pretty legitimate medium for the truly creative. Sculptors, too, have found their way with the immense variety of guts that you’ll find in a dryer – pretty neat, hey?
For parts! As a parts company, we’re intimately familiar with the idea that old appliances probably aren’t beyond fixing – so find an organization in your area that will either spruce it up or take the parts from your appliance and use them for other, needier dryers, fridges, and ovens.
As a soapbox car! The Appliance Art Revival is a race for only the world’s speediest appliances. Set on a hill in Bellingham, Washington, and operated by appliance reuser and recycler Reuse Works, it’s a testament to how resourcefulness can be paired quite easily with eco-friendly fun.
Bonus: you can even reuse the things you use for your appliance. Dryer sheets alone have countless uses.
Considering how much power old appliances can suck back, overloaded utilities companies have a vested interest in relieving you of your old lead-door icebox. Here’s a link or two to help you get the most money for your outdated white goods – and if that doesn’t work, consider finding an appliance reuser in your area like Reuse Works. Just make sure that when you dispose, you do it responsibly. Old fridges have refrigerant substances that can harm the ozone layer, and there can be a really large amount of lead in old appliances too. Be green – and be safe, too.
Andrew is a Community Coordinator with ApplianceHelp. He spends his spare time learning and writing about the many ways that green, frugal, and DIY come together.