As a conscientious consumer, you care about the environment, reducing waste, and cutting down on needless spending. You shop carefully for your major appliances, choosing brands and businesses that treat their employees fairly and strive to have the least environmental impact. But what are some additional ways you can continue your sustainability efforts at home? Here are some creative (and easy) ways to practice sustainability at home.
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE FRIDGE
Your refrigerator is a workhorse. It’s your one major appliance that runs all day, every day. So it’s important — for both the planet and your electric bill — that you buy one that is energy-efficient. Also, when you’re considering your options, think about the refrigerator size you actually need. For instance, if there are only one or two people in your household or you frequently dine out, you can reduce your carbon footprint by buying a smaller fridge, which uses less energy. Don’t use the ice or water dispenser? Opt for one that doesn’t have those features—they use a lot of energy!
For food sustainability, keep your produce fresher for longer by using crisping drawers. Or maximize the life of fresh fruits by freezing them to use in smoothies. Moves like these can stretch your grocery dollars and keep food waste from going into the landfill, where it takes up space and emits harmful methane gasses.
If food waste does need to be discarded, compost it or use a food waste disposer.
SUSTAINABILITY IN LAUNDRY
There are several ways to practice sustainability in the laundry room. For starters, wash your clothes only as often as they need it. Sure, some clothes like underwear and socks should be washed after every wear. But other items, like jeans or sweaters (when worn with an undershirt), can be worn several times before needing to be washed, barring stains or spills. This not only saves energy and water, but also extends the life of your clothing, thereby reducing textile waste.
When you do need to run a load of laundry, do a few larger loads instead of a lot of smaller ones. And use a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine. Many HE machines can sense the size of the load and adjust the water level accordingly. Also, use cold water whenever possible and appropriate—many HE detergents are specially formulated for cold water washing.
As for drying, the most sustainable way to get clothes dry is to use solar power (aka line drying). However, if the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you’re in need of dry clothes fast, you’ll enjoy the modern convenience of a clothes dryer. Look for an energy-efficient model to match your washing machine.
SUSTAINABILITY IN DISHWASHING
Some energy-efficient dishwashers may actually use less water than hand-washing your dishes. And with the ability to superheat the water, your dishes will be cleaner and sanitized, too. But if you want to take sustainability a step further, forgo the heated dry cycle, which uses a lot of extra energy. You may find that a quick toweling off as you unload the dishwasher works just fine.
There are two other things you can do to enhance your personal sustainability efforts at home. Look for brands that build appliances from either recyclable metals or recycled materials, and buy for longevity. Today’s top premium and luxury appliance brands are committed to producing quality appliances that are built to last.
When you’re ready to reduce your carbon footprint, Friedman’s is delighted to help you find the brands and appliances to suit your sustainable lifestyle.